On the second night of a back-to-back — and after a blowout win against the Houston Rockets — there could have been a let down of sorts for the Los Angeles Lakers against a rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder team.
However, LeBron James and Montrezl Harrell ensured that wouldn’t happen in a 128-99 victory. The Thunder went into Wednesday’s matchup as one of the league’s most inefficient offenses.
However, they performed relatively well on that end, shooting 43.5% from the field and 33.3% from 3 for the night. It was their defense that was simply overwhelmed by the size of L.A., as James, Harrell and Anthony Davis all had their way in evert phase.
For the second night in a row, the Lakers never trailed and played in extended garbage time, making them a perfect 3-0 on their road trip and 7-0 away from Staples Center this season. It’s the best road start in Lakers franchise history. Their 10-3 record is tops in the NBA.
James did not score with his usual efficiency, shooting 45% on the night. However, his 26 points came largely from 3-point range, where he went 5-of-8 including a 3-of-4 stretch in the third quarter. He added six rebounds and seven assists while playing only 27 minutes.
Davis got off to a hot start offensively, which is what helped the Lakers put the game away so quickly. He had 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter while going 8-for-13 from the field to go along with seven rebounds. Harrell was even more efficient, getting 21 points on 75% shooting while adding six rebounds of his own.
Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris all ended up in double-figures as well, scoring 14, 10 and 11 points, respectively.
While the Thunder are clearly in the middle of a rebuild, they were 5-5 heading into the matchup and had won four of their past five games. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel cautioned they were not to be taken lightly, and the team took notice.
Next up for the Lakers
After their perfect and dominant 3-0 road trip, the Lakers return home, where all three of their losses this season have come. They’ll take on Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and the New Orleans Pelicans in a nationally televised game, then face the Golden State Warriors before hitting the road yet again.
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