With both Anthony Davis and Alex Caruso sitting out, there was even more pressure on LeBron James to carry the Los Angeles Lakers against another feisty, young team. As usual, he was more than up to the task.
LeBron posted his third triple-double with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists as the Lakers weathered the storm for a 119-112 overtime victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
After playing 48 minutes in Saturday night’s double-OT win over the Detroit Pistons, James logged 43 minutes against OKC and his play, and that of the Lakers as a whole, suffered from it at times throughout the contest.
The Lakers shot just 9-of-38 from 3-point range, with the majority of their misses coming up short — a sign of tired legs after such a long contest just two days prior. The Lakers struggled to keep the Thunder off the glass all night as they allowed 15 offensive rebounds while also continuing their issues with turnovers, committing 15 (eight coming in the first quarter).
Things looked bleak for the Lakers early on in the fourth quarter as they fell behind by 11, but were able to fight back behind some excellent play from their bench. Montrezl Harrell finished with 21 points and eight rebounds, but some of the most crucial plays came from Wesley Matthews.
After not seeing the floor the last four games, Matthews returned to the rotation with the Lakers down a couple players and he took full advantage of the opportunity. Matthews finished with 16 points and was the team’s only reliable deep shooter, knocking down 4-of-5 behind the arc.
Despite a rough night, the Lakers were able to take things over down the stretch and seemed to have things in hand, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope committed an unfortunate foul on a Shai Gilgious-Alexander 3-pointer with under two seconds left.
The Thunder guard knocked down all three free throws and James missed a shot at the buzzer, sending the game to the extra period. L.A. dominated those extra five minutes to come away with the win, and Dennis Schroder once again played a big role.
Schroder finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists and played excellent defense on Gilgious-Alexander to help the Lakers put things away.
Kyle Kuzma had another double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers won the third straight game of their homestand and fifth consecutive overall.
Next up for Lakers
The Lakers finish off their homestand with a rematch against the Thunder on Wednesday and a contest against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday before hitting the road for a matchup with the Denver Nuggets on Valentine’s Day.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!