The Thunder looked to bounce back from the loss to the Nuggets on Monday as they took on the Lakers Wednesday evening. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are quite the deadly duo, but Oklahoma City came out on top with a convincing 105-86 victory.
Oklahoma City controlled the game from start to finish, never relinquishing the lead from the opening tip. The Lakers made a couple of runs, but the Thunder managed to keep their distance.
The defense stayed strong, and the offense had a ton of help from Danilo Gallinari. As a team, the Thunder consistently attacked the rim on offense, which created a lot of free throw opportunities. OKC capitalized on those trips to the line, going 32-for-36 (88.9%) for the game.
Despite LeBron’s best efforts to mount a fourth quarter comeback for the Lakers, OKC coasted to victory over LA.
Defense Leads The Way For OKC
The Thunder really controlled the pace of this game with their defense. Oklahoma City can’t run and gun with the Lakers or keep up with LA’s shooting on offense, but when the game gets a bit ugly and physical, the Thunder has the advantage.
OKC used the defensive side of the ball to make it that physical and gritty type game. Luguentz Dort is such a high level defender that he can single-handedly impact the game. Fortunately for the Thunder, they had more than just Dort on Wednesday night. The team as a whole brought a ton of energy on defense, and they managed to come up with 9 steals as a squad.
When the Thunder plays defense at this level, I’m not sure there are very many teams who can compete with them. OKC will be extremely hard for anyone to beat in a seven game playoff series.
Thunder Player Of The Game
Luguentz Dort is an absolute game changer. Oklahoma City is very fortunate to have this guy on the roster. He can lock up just about anyone on the court on any given night, and tonight he played a key role in holding Lebron James to just 19 points on 7-of-19 (36.9%) shooting from the floor.
The best part about the potential of Dort is his ability to score on offense as well. He finished the game with 14 points and 4 rebounds. His ability to be a high level defender and also produce on offense will be key to OKC’s playoff run.
Back Again On Friday
The Thunder will play their fourth game in “The Bubble” on Friday afternoo n as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies who are still searching for their first win since the NBA restart.
Memphis has a solid young core led by rookie Ja Morant. The Grizzlies are a fast-moving group with a ton of athletic ability. However, they tend to fold when faced with adversity.
With the experience on the Thunder roster, OKC should be able to control the tempo of this game and coast to their third win in Orlando.
The game will tip-off at 3 PM CT, and it will be televised on NBA TV and Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.