Game Grades: Big nights from SGA, Jalen Williams not enough to complete comeback against Lakers

The OKC Thunder fall short against the L.A. Lakers in a must-win game for the Purple and Gold.

Dec 23, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) drives
Dec 23, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) drives / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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Grading the best OKC Thunder bench performer:

Kenrich Williams, F, OKC Thunder: B+

Williams came off the bench and made an instant impact early. With the rowdy crowd behind him, he nailed a couple of 3-pointers shortly after checking into the game.

That started his night on the way to 11 points and five assists. Williams added a steal and block, but that was not his only contribution defensively.

Williams got the tough task of guarding Anthony Davis and held his own. But at just 6-foot-6, he could only do so much.

Grading the best Laker:

LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers: A+

The King won his first championship against the Thunder and broke the all-time scoring record against them. In summary, he likes seeing the Thunder on the other side.

James put up a spectacular 40-point performance in his second appearance in Oklahoma City this season. Some deep threes, a lob to Anthony Davis and more helped him build and keep a Lakers lead.

His fourth quarter was what put the game away. He blocked Lu Dort’s layup along the baseline, nailed a couple of 3-pointers and had a dagger and-one in the final five minutes alone.

James finished with 40 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as he led the Lakers into Christmas with a win. He also added two steals and two blocks while shooting 13-of-20 from the field.

Next. What will the OKC Thunder do at the NBA Trade Deadline?. What Will the OKC Thunder do at the NBA Trade Deadline?. dark