Paul George, Thunder Dominate Lakers After Slow Start
Paul George, Lakers, Thunder
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers opened the game on a 10-0 run, saw their lead evaporate and eventually weren’t able to withstand an onslaught by Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook in what finished as a 133-96 thumping for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In a triumphant return to Southern California, George only scored four points in the first quarter, as Anthony and Russell Westbrook shouldered the early load.

George went on to finish with a game-high tying 24 points, while Anthony had 21 points. Westrbook had a double-double with 20 points and 12 assists, adding six rebounds. Of the trio, only George saw the floor in the fourth quarter.

In addition to allowing the Thunder big three to each score 20 points or more, the Lakers failed to slow Terrance Ferguson, who had 24 points and six 3-pointers made. Ferguson electrified what became an otherwise quiet crowd with multiple highlight-reel slam dunks in the fourth quarter.

The story remained the same for the Lakers, who lost their eighth in a row and 11th in their past 12 games. Oklahoma City found little resistance during multiple stretches of the game, allowing them to lead by 20 to 30 points for much of the second half.

Kyle Kuzma attempted to do his part on offense, leading the Lakers with 18 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the team’s only other starter to reach double figures, scoring 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting.

In his return from a right ankle sprain, Brook Lopez scored 10 points in 16 minutes. He entered off the bench for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Brandon Ingram had a particularly rough night, as he mustered all of seven points.

Although the Lakers tend to enjoy a favorable homecourt, their fans showered George and Westbrook with loud ovations during pregame introductions. The warm welcoming was superior to that of any Lakers starter when they were introduced.

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