Out working the Lakers
The Oklahoma City Thunder were flat-out able to outwork the Los Angeles Lakers. You can pin this on the short rest by the Lakers, compared to Oklahoma City, who has seen the most spaced out portion of their schedule happen night now, but no matter what you chalk it up as, the Thunder out played L.A.
This is an Oklahoma City team that has struggled to rebound all season long, and in this contest, the Thunder hauled in 48 boards, winning the battle on the glass by seven, won second-chance points 13-6, and ran the Lakers out of the gym to the tune of 26 fastbreak points.
The Thunder limited the Lakers to just 33 percent shooting from beyond the arc, 44 percent from the floor, and forced them into 13 turnovers on Thursday.
Oklahoma City was able to keep the Lakers role players in check, only seeing Anthony Davis get hot, while holding LeBron James and Austin Reaves to a relatively average night by their standards.
While the rest advantage is huge, it is also clear the Thunder were motivated to snap their two-game skid after suffering close loses to the 76ers and Timberwolves.
With their record at 12-6, top three in the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder have earned the respect of the rest of the NBA. Now, it is about duplicating these performances.
Next up, the Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. Traveling to the American Airlines Center to face off with a Mavericks team that is a handful on the offensive end. With their ability to throw out Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving when healthy there is no question this game will be a track meet.
The way Oklahoma City can play this in their favor is on the defensive end. These are polar opposite teams, with Dallas ranking as one of the worst defenses in the NBA and the Thunder having a plethora of defenders.
For complete coverage of that game, and all season long, check back daily to Thunderous Intentions.