Despite being without LeBron James, Anthony Davis and D’Angelo Russell, the Los Angeles Lakers managed to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 123-117 to end their road trip with a big win..
Mo Bamba got the start in place of Anthony Davis and was able to knock down his first 3-pointer of the night. Troy Brown Jr. was able to bounce back from his poor shooting performance the night before as he knocked down a pair of 3s, but the Thunder responded to tie the game at 13 early.
Dennis Schroder looked like he seriously sprained his ankle after stepping on a player’s foot, but he was somehow able to stay in the game. Los Angeles briefly opened up a double-digit lead, but Oklahoma City caught fire from beyond the arc and L.A.’s lead was whittled down to 31-30 at the end of the first.
The Laker bench struggled to score at the top of the second, though a tough drive and 3 from Austin Reaves kept them ahead by four. Oklahoma City went on a 7-0 run keyed by Isaiah Joe, but Brown was able to knock in his third triple to knot things up at 42 apiece.
Malik Beasley started to heat up as he hit his third three of the game, but the Thunder went up 51-49 after a midrange jumper from Luguentz Dort. The Lakers experienced a scoring drought near the end of the quarter and as a result, they went into halftime trailing 60-57.
Schroder looked more like himself after the break, darting to the rim for a layup and knocking in a triple to help Los Angeles reclaim the lead. As had been the case, though, the Thunder responded and stayed right on the Lakers’ heels.
Josh Giddey led the charge for Oklahoma City as he used his size and physicality to get to the rim, putting Los Angeles down 77-71 in the process. Reaves was able to resettle the Lakers on both ends of the floor and they went into the final period with a 90-84 lead.
Schroder continued his solid second half as he continued to find room to score against the Thunder defense, helping the Lakers remain ahead. Rui Hachimura came alive on both ends, hitting shots, grabbing boards and playing great defense to give L.A. a 13-point lead.
Oklahoma City answered with a 13-4 run that cut L.A.’s lead, but Brown was able to hit a tough baseline jumper to give them some breathing room. Although the Thunder made things interesting by hitting timely shots, the Lakers were able to hit free throws in the closing minutes and closed the road trip on a high note.
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