The Los Angeles Lakers suffered one of their worst losses in recent memory on Wednesday night after blowing a 26-point lead to the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder, allowing them to win their first game of the year. L.A. dropped to 2-3 and 1-1 with Russell Westbrook leading the charge in the absence of LeBron James.
Things got chippy near the end of the loss, as Thunder forward Darius Bazley stole an inbound pass and proceeded to take an uncontested dunk with the result already decided. Westbrook took particular offense to this move, immediately rushing to Bazley after the dunk.
The Lakers guard was ejected from the game — as there were 1.5 seconds remaining — and the L.A. loss was solidified. Westbrook spoke about the moment after the game and explained why he was so upset. “It is what it is. … Just how I play the game,” Westbrook said. “We’re old school. When shit like that happens I don’t let it slide.
“In the game of basketball, there’s certain things you just don’t do in sports. Like in baseball, you don’t flip a bat. There’s certain things you don’t do in sports. Game already over and I didn’t like it. Simple as that.”
One of the most commonly known unwritten rules in basketball is that if the shot clock is off and the game has been decided, the winning team shouldn’t attempt to score again. There are plenty of arguments for and against these unwritten rules, but Westbrook has made it clear where he stands.
This certainly adds a hint of drama next Thursday, when the Lakers take on the Thunder once again. Westbrook is not one to forget and has a history of holding grudges and unleashing them on the court.
It’s rare that a team of the Lakers’ caliber needs this type of motivation to beat a team like the Thunder, but whatever works to get a much-needed win at the early point of the season. Bazley, in particular, is not going to be on Westbrook’s good side when the two face off in L.A. next week.
Carmelo Anthony leaving historic loss in Oklahoma City
One of the most popular ways to overcome a bad loss is to simply forget about it and move on. Most good teams have a few “throwaway” losses, and the Lakers certainly suffered one of Wednesday. Carmelo Anthony had this exact mindset following the game.
“Shoot, we got to leave it here,” Anthony said. “I mean, that’s a tough one to lose even though we was up 20 on the road. That’s a tough one to lose, but we’re gonna leave that one here. Get ready for Friday.”
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!