The Los Angeles Lakers had a chance to get revenge on the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on Thursday night, but instead saw history repeat itself by blowing a 19-point lead and losing 107-104.
The Lakers got off to a quick start as they raced out to an 8-0 lead, getting almost any look they wanted, though Darius Bazley ended the run with a three. Anthony Davis was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field as the undersized Thunder had no answer for him defensively early.
Staples Center gave an ovation for Wayne Ellington, who finally made his Lakers season debut, though he and the rest of the team went cold on the offensive end which allowed the Thunder to climb back into the contest. Ellington managed to get a three from the corner to go and Los Angeles went into the second ahead 25-21.
Dwight Howard energized the home crowd with his defensive effort, while Malik Monk found Carmelo Anthony in the corner for a three that gave the Lakers more cushion. Offensively, L.A. found its shooting stroke and managed to extend its lead to as much as 19.
Davis re-entered the game and looked to re-establish himself on the floor, but the Thunder were able to go on a run to get within 11. The end of the quarter could not have gone worse for the Lakers as Davis looked to hurt his finger and the Thunder nailed consecutive threes, leaving L.A. only up 52-48 at halftime.
Anthony got the start in place of Davis to start the third but fortunately, the big man made his way from the locker room and immediately checked back into the game. However, the Thunder reeled off an 11-2 run to get within one.
Oklahoma City actually managed to tie the game at 68-68 before Avery Bradley cut to the rim for an easy score, while Anthony drained a long-two to give them some breathing room. Anthony was able to remain hot from the field which allowed L.A. to walk into the fourth up 80-72.
Davis had a vintage sequence, blocking a shot on one end and then sprinting back to score on a layup in transition. Head coach Frank Vogel made the curious decision to take out Davis, Westbrook, and Anthony which helped the Thunder take their first lead of the night.
Former Laker Mike Muscala drew the ire of the crowd after scoring a quick five points, though Bradley was able to answer to keep L.A. within two. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander nailed a shot from the logo, but the Lakers battled back to pull within two before an ill-timed Westbrook turnover put them in a bad spot.
The end of the game got chippy as Anthony and Lu Dort got into it, and although Anthony nailed another three to give them a chance Westbrook’s shot at the buzzer did not go and they took home another disappointing loss.
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