The Lakers had the opportunity to continue their winning streak against OKC. Problem: Theo Maledon gang seems to have become the official pet peeve of the ogre angelino…
For the house stats of the magnificent Lakers choke, it’s here.
For some, playing the Thunder is a formality, an opportunity to launch a good dynamic or even a good opportunity to put people to rest. For others, it is a constant struggle that often ends in defeat. The Lakers are part of the second category. Even deprived of LeBron James, Frank Vogel had plenty of gear to defeat this young OKC team, openly in reconstruction and who have won only one game this season. Yes but this famous match, it is against LA that the Thunder won it and that should have put us in the ear. It was naive of us to believe that a nineteen point lead in the first half would be enough to turn this game into a blowout. and the Lakers are players and they want the fans to get their money’s worth. That’s why they kindly let OKC step back on their heels and hang in there until they believed that victory was not just a mirage but a realistic goal. Well helped by a small 15-4 inflicted at the beginning of the money time, SGA and his family will take control of the match… never to leave them again. Of course, LA will still have face-saving opportunities and Carmelo Anthony was on the verge of playing hero once again, but that was without counting on… Russell Westbrook. Author of a good game so far, Brodie will totally derail on the last possessions. Ball lost stupidly by rushing straight while they were at -2 before releasing Luguentz Dort at the marking and offering two free points to OKC. Melo’s huge shoot in the aftermath could have left some hope for a comeback with eight seconds on the clock but Dort will score his two throws and Russ, again, will choose the individual option with a three-point brick in first intention. Such a waste !
It will be understood, the Lakers shot themselves in the foot last night but do not forget to pay tribute to the Thunder, who never gave up. Everyone has done their bit (six players with more than ten points) but the prize still goes to Shai Gilgeous-Alexandre (28 points, 6 assists, 9/17 shooting and 4/6 from distance), incredible ease and who handled the last possessions like a pure All-Star. He’s the one who plants a huge shot of the logo to go to +6 with a minute and a few to play and he’s the one who will resist LA’s four-way take to serve Dort, totally forgotten by Westbrook. Limited to 35 games last year, the Oklahoma nugget intends to resume its forward march.
The Thunder have only won two games this season, and each time it was against the Lakers. OKC’s tank still has a few shells in reserve and they seem to be doing a lot of harm on the Hollywood side.