In their home finale of the 2021-22 season, the Los Angeles Lakers finally snapped their eight-game losing streak with a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
With both teams out of playoff contention, it was a night for the youngsters as the Lakers and Thunder gave them extended minutes. For L.A., Stanley Johnson was the star of the night as the bruising forward had his way against an Oklahoma Squad who ended up only playing six players throughout the night. Johnson barreled his way to the rim at will and also had his jumper going for most of the evening.
Johnson led the Purple and Gold in scoring with 21 points, but he was just one part of what ended up being a well-balanced attack across the roster. The other four starters each scored in double digits, with Dwight Howard and Talen Horton-Tucker scoring 15 apiece while Malik Monk chipped in with 12 and Austin Reaves rounded them out with 11.
It was not just the starters who got in on the fun as three bench players also scored in double figures. Wenyen Gabriel was a burst of energy on both ends of the floor, immediately making good on the two-year deal he just signed with the team. Gabriel led the bench with 16 points, scoring mostly on hustle baskets around the rim.
Mason Jones was called up by the team in order to provide some depth and he showed out in his 18 minutes, scoring 13 points on a few hard-nosed drives to the rim and a pull-up three in transition. Wayne Ellington flanked him with 10 points, showing off his sweet shooting stroke with a 2-of-7 performance from deep.
For the Thunder, they were led by Jaylen Hoard who recorded a 27-point, 17-rebound double-double in 47 minutes. Georgios Kalaitzakis followed right behind Hoard with 25 points, while former Laker Summer League member Zavier Simpson added 13 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
Next up for the Lakers
The Lakers will play their final game of the season on the road against the Denver Nuggets who may or not be resting Nikola Jokic. Head coach Frank Vogel may opt to give extended minutes to the younger players, so all eyes will be on them before the team has to face an offseason full of changes.
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