Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder Comeback Halted in Los Angeles

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

The Oklahoma City Thunder wrapped up their second game of the Los Angeles back-to-back with a 112-107 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. After trailing by double digits late in the fourth, OKC made a valiant effort to comeback, and nearly did, but Lebron James and the Lakers were too much.

The Rundown

The Thunder struggled to take care of the ball in the first quarter as they racked up 8 turnovers—4 from Dennis Schröder—and the Lakers took full advantage, turning those mishaps into 18 points. Somehow, though, OKC was able to stick around behind Schröder 9 points and Gallinari’s 7. After the first quarter, the Lakers led 33-28.

Every time Oklahoma City would cut into the deficit and bring it close, the Lakers would strike back and extend their lead once again. Schröder continued his scoring spree to push his total to 20 by halftime, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added in 8 to bring his first half total to 11, and Nerlens Noel had a solid quarter as he scored 7 points and pulled down 4 rebounds. Still, LA was able to maintain, and a dunk by Lebron James right before the buzzer gave the Lakers the 63-53 advantage at the half.

Lebron James got the first score of the second half, but OKC answered with a 10-0 run behind 7 points from Gallinari and a three from Terrance Ferguson to cut the deficit to just 2 a couple of minutes into the third quarter.

The run seemed to be for nothing as the Lakers powered back to take a 90-80 lead with 1:30 left in the third, but a three by Abdel Nader and a couple of goaltending calls on LA at the end of the quarter gave the Thunder a chance, and with one period remaining, the Lakers lead was cut to 93-87.

The 6-point deficit to start the quarter appeared to be as close as the Thunder would get to overtaking the Lakers. With just 3:22 left in the game, LA held a 109-98 lead, but OKC was not done. A 7-0 Thunder run made it a 2-point game with 1:24 to play. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope put the run to an end with a three to put the Lakers up by 5, and LA would hold on for the 112-107 win.

Thunder Player of the Game

Dennis Schröder struggled to take care of the ball at times as he turned it over 5 times, all in the first half, but he was the shining spot of the struggling Thunder offense. Schröder finished with 31 points on 12-of-20 (60.0%) shooting from the field—including 3-of-7 (42.9%) from three.

Schröder is a bit of enigma for OKC as he has been about as inconsistent as they come, but on an off night for the Thunder, he played a major role in keeping them right in the thick of it.

By the Numbers

  • 30: Number of fast break points by the Lakers
  • 15: Number of turnovers by the Thunder
  • 27: Number of points scored off turnovers by the Lakers
  • 45.2: Percent of three-point attempts made by the Lakers
  • 57: Number of points scored by the Thunder’s bench

Headed Home to Host the Lakers

After the back-to-back in Hollywood, the Thunder gets a couple of days off before they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. This is one of those weird scheduling quirks where they play the same team in consecutive games, so OKC will have a chance to get some revenge on LA.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM, and the game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

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