Despite leading by 17 midway through the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost in dramatic fashion 138-128 in overtime.
The Oklahoma City Thunder got off to as good of a start as they have had in a while. The defense was active and less than 5 minutes into the game, OKC had scored 12 points off of Laker turnovers to take a 16-7 lead behind 8 points from Steven Adams.
The Lakers were able to get within 5 points thanks to 3-3 start from beyond the arc for Kyle Kuzma, but the Thunder could not miss from deep either. OKC shot 6-9 (66.7%) from three in the period, and 17 points scored off of Laker turnovers put the Thunder on top 39-27 through the first frame.
The Lakers came out with some energy to start the second quarter, and a 17-5 run against the Thunder bench forced Billy Donovan to call a timeout just a couple of minutes into the period. Los Angeles kept it rolling against OKC’s second unit, though, and the extended 29-7 run midway through the period gave the Lakers a 49-44 lead, forcing Donovan to call another timeout and to put the starters back in the game.
The Thunder was able to fight back and retake the lead with a couple of minutes left in the half, but the Lakers finished the quarter on a 6-0 run to take a 67-63 lead into halftime.
Russell Westbrook hit a three to start the third quarter, and Paul George hit a jumper of his own to put the Thunder immediately back on top 68-67. After a Terrance Ferguson free throw, the Lakers went on a 10-2 run, however, to go up 77-71 and force Billy Donovan into a timeout.
A quick 8-0 run after the timeout put the Thunder back on top temporarily, and it seemed as if both teams wanted to stick to the three-ball as OKC went 5-8 from deep in the period while the Lakers shot 5-11. At the end of the quarter, the Thunder held a small 96-95 lead.
The fourth quarter was full of more back-and-forth basketball. Both teams held 3-point leads on multiple occasions, and with 2.9 seconds left trailing by 3, Russell Westbrook was fouled while attempting a 3. He went to the free throw line and knocked down all 3 to tie it up at 122-122. Kyle Kuzma had a chance to win the game, but he missed a shot at the buzzer, and the game went to overtime.
Overtime belonged to the Lakers, unfortunately, as the Thunder settled for shots almost exclusively from three, and despite hitting a franchise-record 22 from deep, the shots were not falling in the end, and OKC lost for the fifth time in six games 138-128.
Saturday Matinee in Philly
The Thunder is now headed to Philadelphia where they will take on the 76ers on Saturday afternoon for a rare matinee matchup. The 76ers are on a 3-game win streak and have won 7 of their last 10. The two teams will tip-off at 2:30 PM on ABC, and the game will be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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