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Oklahoma City Thunder

Game #37 Preview | Los Angeles Lakers

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 9:30 PM CT

Location: Staples Center (Los Angeles, California)

Television: ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder left 2018 with a win over the Dallas Mavericks at home on New Year’s Eve, and now they look to continue winning 2019 as they take on the Lakers in Los Angeles.

The Lakers are not exactly healthy with Lebron James missing time due to a groin injury and Rajon Rondo out after having surgery on his broken right hand. Los Angeles is 1-2 without Lebron, including 1-1 at home, but they have a solid young core which is capable of carrying the load without.

Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook has had 2 solid games sandwiched around his worst shooting performance of the season so far, and he desperately needs to find some stability in his jump shot.

Tonight might be a good chance for Westbrook to continue to work on his shot, which often starts with attacking the basket. The Lakers are not a great interior defensive team, allowing 51.6 points in the paint per game (25th in the NBA) and 13.2 second-chance point per game (15th in the NBA).

The Lakers are also one of the more turnover prone teams in the league, averaging 15.6 giveaways per game (26th in the NBA), which is perfect for OKC, who leads the league in takeaways by a wide margin with 18.6 per game.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Russell Westbrook
  • SG: Terrance Ferguson
  • SF: Paul George
  • PF: Jerami Grant
  • C: Steven Adams

Lakers

  • PGLonzo Ball
  • SG: Josh Hart
  • SF: Kyle Kuzma
  • PF: Brandon Ingram
  • C: Javale McGee

Injuries

Thunder

  • Alex Abrines (personal) is OUT.
  • Andre Roberson (left patellar tendon) is OUT.

Lakers

  • Michael Beasley (personal) is OUT.
  • Lebron James (groin injury) is OUT.
  • Rajon Rondo (broken right hand) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 21-14 against the Lakers (12-5 at home, 9-9 on the road).
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Lakers 6 times, lost 3 times, and tied once.
  • The Thunder split the season series against the Lakers 2-2 last season.
  • After losing 8 of the first 9 matchups with the Lakers dating back to the 2008-09 season, the Thunder has won 20 of the last 26 matchups overall including 5 of the last 7 at Staples Center.

Game Notes

  • The Thunder most recently defeated the Dallas Mavericks in OKC on New Year’s Eve while the Lakers most recently defeated the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles
  • The Thunder is 6-4 in their last 10 while the Lakers are 4-6.
  • Oklahoma City is 10-9 on the road while Los Angeles is 13-6 at home.
  • Oklahoma City is 13-11 against the Western Conference while Los Angeles is 15-11.
  • The Thunder is 11-8 after one day of rest while the Lakers are 7-2 after two days of rest.
  • The Thunder is 6-1 on Wednesdays while the Lakers are 6-0.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder Official Game Notes
  • Los Angeles Lakers Official Game Notes

Be sure to follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook, and don’t forget to check out our latest episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys on FacebookYouTube, or TalkShoe.

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