On the second night of a back-to-back the Los Angeles Lakers finished up a three-game road trip with a dominant 128-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The win marked their seventh straight on the road to begin the season, which set a new franchise record.
In an ongoing trend for L.A., they were able to get off to yet another hot start. This was anchored by pure dominance in the paint from Anthony Davis, who had nine points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field within the first four minutes, leading to a 14-4 Lakers lead.
However, unlike the win over the Houston Rockets, neither the starting unit nor the reserves were able to put the game out of reach early. Despite the Thunder shooting 39.1% from the field and 12.5% from 3, they were able to close the gap ever so slightly, with L.A. leading 30-21 after the first quarter.
Davis finished the quarter with 12 points and four rebounds, both of which were team highs.
The Thunder did their best to close the gap even though they sport one of the NBA’s least efficient offenses. Some mental lapses by L.A. at the start of the second quarter allowed Oklahoma City to make it a game before a pair of Alex Caruso triples created separation.
LeBron James then caught fire from 3-point range, going 3-of-4 as part of a massive 16-0 Lakers run in the middle of the second quarter that put them up 56-32. A 14-2 run by the Thunder closed the gap before the end of the half, and the Lakers took a 58-46 lead into the locker room.
Early on in the second half, the Lakers starters did their best to ensure some fourth quarter rest for themselves, stretching the lead to 76-50 before the seven-minute mark. James took over with nine consecutive points while the entire unit ramped up the defensive pressure.
Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and Alex Caruso joined Davis and Dennis Schroder. James, Marc Gasol and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope took well-deserved breaks. L.A. continued to feast down low and took a 93-71 lead into the fourth quarter.
Outside of a short stint by James, the fourth quarter was played almost entirely without their two superstars. After very extended garbage time, the Lakers were able to move to 10-3 and 7-0 on the road in a win over the Thunder.
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