The Los Angeles Lakers took on a familiar foe in the Oklahoma City Thunder, beating them 130-127.
The Lakers kept up the momentum after beating the Thunder 112-107 three days ago.
Both teams traded buckets early on with LeBron James playing the distributor. Although the Lakers offense was on point, the Thunder were easily able to convert on almost everything in the paint.
Rajon Rondo entered the game late in the first quarter and made immediate efforts on both ends of the court. Kyle Kuzma also made his return after injuring his eye in the last matchup. He proved to be a spark plug and kept the team’s great offensive start going.
Both sides continued to trade buckets throughout the second quarter. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a number of big plays in the first half, continuing his excellent play of late. He was finding teammates and converting on open shots, including a three-pointer to beat the first half buzzer, bringing the score 66-67 in favor of the Thunder.
The Lakers excellent three-point shooting continued in the second half, helping to give them an early third quarter lead. The team’s foul troubles continued, putting the Thunder in the bonus with over eight minutes left in the quarter. Despite the defensive woes, the offense rallied and scored often on the fast break with James leading the way.
Although their offense was on fire, the Lakers defense could not stop the Thunder. The Lakers clearly came out of halftime with more energy, but the Thunder moved from the inside to the outside as they hit a number of three-point shots. After a streak of their own, the Thunder cut the team’s lead to three.
Tensions flared between Rondo and Schroeder once again to open the fourth quarter. Rondo was given a flagrant two foul for a questionable move on him, giving the Thunder a huge head of steam. And on the very next play, Hamidou Diallo was injured after James took it inside for a physical layup.
As Davis took a breather for the beginning of the fourth quarter, James led the way as the Lakers desperately held onto their slim lead. Once Davis was back in the game, he delivered on his second four-point play of the game to give the Lakers a five-point lead with under three minutes left.
The Lakers defense finally rallied and secured the victory thanks to a timely James steal.