Westbrook & Thunder Too Much For Lakers

February 24th, 2017

Russell Westbrook was a human tornado as usual.  Westbrook scored 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 17 assists, as the Thunder took down the Lakers 110-93.

The game was also the first for two new Thunder players who were acquired on Thursday.  Those players were Taj Gibson, who scored 12 points, and Doug McDermott, who scored 8.  That was impressive in spite of the fact that neither was able to participate in the morning shoot around Friday.

As for the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell scored 29 points, but the Lakers shot just 39.6% as a team.  Russell picked up the scoring slack after the team’s leading scorer, Lou Williams, was traded a few days earlier.

“I knew at times we’d stall out offensively because Lou was such a big part of it,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “But I thought they did a great job.”

The Lakers acquired Corey Brewer from Houston, in the trade for Williams.  Brewer scored 2 points in 4 minutes of playing time.  Jordan Clarkson scored 14 points and Julius Randle had 13 points and 11 rebounds as well, but the Lakers shot just 7 for 35 on three-pointers.

The Lakers trailed throughout.  Oklahoma City led 58-51 at the half, and quickly opened up a 73-58 lead in the 3rd quarter.  LA got within 9 points with just over 4 minutes left, but free throw shooting didn’t help their cause.  The Lakers were just 6 of 14 from the free throw line.

Lakers new President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson, made the trip to Oklahoma City in order to get a better feel for the team.  D’Angelo Russell recognized the importance of this.

“It’s like you’re starting over and trying to impress,” Russell said. “Everybody has to look over their shoulders once again. It’s like coming to a new team. Trying to impress the GM and the guys in the front office with your play and off the court the way you handle yourselves. So it’s all different.”

Things won’t get any easier for the Lakers.  They’ll take on the Spurs at Staples Center on Sunday.

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