For the second consecutive road game, the Los Angeles Lakers played tough Sunday night but were not able to pull through in the fourth quarter and fell 113-96 to the Oklahoma City Thunder putting them at 1-2 on the season.
With just under five minutes remaining in the contest Nick Young hit a three-pointer to put the Lakers within four at 95-91, but from there the Lakers were outscored 18-5.
As a whole the Lakers were outscored 36-25 in the fourth quarter, ultimately leading to defeat.
After the game power forward Julius Randle claimed fatigue might have been a factor into why the Thunder were able to pull away from the Lakers in the fourth quarter, via Mark Medina of the OC Register:
“I don’t know if we got tired or what it was,” Randle said. “They killed us in transition defense and got a few offensive rebounds. Then certain things we had schemed against them, we didn’t play that well. They took advantage of it.”
In their season opener against the Houston Rockets, the Lakers thrived in the fourth quarter, as they outplayed Houston on both ends of the floor, outscoring them 30-18 helping secure a 120-114 victory.
Los Angeles struggled in the final quarter against the Utah Jazz though, being outscored by seven in the fourth quarter after the game being tied after the first three frames.
While fatigue is not usually a problem for a team as young as the Lakers are, many of the team’s young players are playing more minutes than they ever have, so it may take some time for them to adjust to playing starter’s minutes night in and night out.
It does not help that after the team’s season opener then left for a four-game road trip against four playoff caliber teams before heading home to host the Golden State Warriors.