Recap: D’Angelo Russell Gets Hot As Lakers Cruise To Win Over Thunder
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers, Thunder
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After a tough loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers returned to the court on Monday with another challenging home matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While the Thunder came in as the No. 1 seed in the West, they also were in the second night of a back-to-back. As a result, the Lakers were able to cruise to a 116-104 victory.

The Thunder got off to a quick 13-2 start as Chet Holmgren had five early points and Josh Giddey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander each had four. The frustration was mounting for the Lakers early with Austin Reaves picking up a technical foul.

LeBron James threw a lob to Anthony Davis though, which forced a quick Thunder timeout. Oklahoma City continued its strong start out of the timeout, taking a double-digit lead due to some careless turnovers by L.A.

The Lakers finally heated up from the field with Rui Hachimura, Reaves and Taurean Prince all connecting from deep on consecutive possessions. After another triple by Reaves and a layup by Dinwiddie, the game was tied at 25 at the conclusion of the first quarter.

After going scoreless in the first quarter, LeBron James started attacking more to begin the second, which set up easy looks for himself and his teammates. Reaves also stayed hot from deep and all of a sudden it was the Lakers with a double-digit lead, completely flipping the script.

Lu Dort got hot from there though to get the Thunder back in it, but the Lakers still had great energy to close the half on another run led by James and Davis to take 52-43 halftime lead.

The Lakers again came out hot to start the third with Reaves and Russell both connecting from deep. The Thunder also had problems dealing with L.A.’s size as Davis continued to pulverize them inside. The Lakers went on a 12-0 run to establish a 79-64 lead, their largest of the night to that point.

L.A. continued pouring it on to end the third and went into the fourth with a comfortable 89-72 lead.

The Lakers’ hot shooting didn’t stop there with Prince and Russell hitting from deep early in the fourth to extend the lead to 20.

With the Thunder being in the second night of a back-to-back, they clearly were playing with tired legs. With that being the case, they were not able to make a run as Russell hit two more triples to put the game out of reach for good.

What’s next for the Lakers

Things don’t get any easier for the Lakers from here as they host the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night and then the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

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