For the second time in three days, the Oklahoma City Thunder dropped a close loss at home to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. OKC is now 0-4 since returning from the All-Star Break, and the schedule doesn’t get much easier moving forward. On Wednesday night, the Thunder hosts the visiting Los Angeles Lakers in the second game of a back-to-back for both teams.
The Lakers made some moves at the trade deadline in a desperate attempt to get back into playoff contention, and it looked like they might be heading in that direction, or at least that was the case before LeBron James went down with a foot injury in Sunday night’s game against the Mavericks. The outlook for James is not great as he’s set to miss at least a few weeks, and with the health of Anthony Davis continually in question, it’s hard to see this team being capable of making a push.
Still, the Lakers have some quality role players, and tonight’s matchup will likely be a good one with the Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander still out due to health and safety protocols. The last time these two teams met, Shai played spoiler on LeBron James’s historic night. James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, but it was SGA and the Thunder who came away with the win. Tonight’s meeting will highlight different players with both of those guy sitting out, but it will likely be another close matchup. Jalen Williams and Isaiah Joe have been particularly good for OKC with Shai sitting out, and they will both need to have big games tonight if OKC wants to get back in the win column.
Tip-Off: 7 PM CT
Location: Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
Television: Bally Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live tweets and discussion during the game
- PG: Josh Giddey
- SG: Isaiah Joe
- SF: Luguentz Dort
- PF: Jalen Williams
- C: Jaylin Williams
- PG: Dennis Schröder
- SG: Malik Beasley
- SF: Troy Brown
- PF: Jarred Vanderbilt
- C: Anthony Davis
- Ousmane Dieng is OUT (G League — on assignment).
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (health and safety protocols; abdominal strain).
- Chet Holmgren is OUT (right foot surgery).
- Aleksej Pokusevski is OUT (left tibial plateau; non-displaced fracture).
- Olivier Sarr is OUT (G League — two-way).
- LeBron James is OUT (right foot soreness).
- Scotty Pippen Jr. is OUT (G League — two-way).
- D’Angelo Russell is OUT (sprained right ankle).
- Cole Swider is OUT (G League — two-way).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 27-23 against the Lakers (14-10 at home, 13-13 on the road).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Lakers 7 times, lost 5 times, and tied it twice.
- The Thunder went 2-2 (1-1 at home, 1-1 on the road) against the Lakers last season.
- The Thunder is 1-0 against the Lakers so far this season (0-0 at home, 1-0 on the road).