It took almost no time at all for the Thunder to pounce on the lowly Los Angeles Lakers as they rolled to an easy 118-78 victory in front of their home crowd. This was the largest margin of victory for the Thunder this season.
There was little hype heading into the contest, but today’s game was supposed to be a chance for NBA fans in Oklahoma City to see Lakers guard Kobe Bryant play in person before he retires at the end of the season. Unfortunately for those who dished out the big bucks for a seat, Bryant was a last-minute scratch from the starting lineup due to a sore shoulder.
That left the Lakers without a player who can create his own shot, and an experienced team like the Thunder took full advantage of that glaring weakness. OKC came out of the gates on a mission, and tore through the Lakers’ defense with reckless abandon—building up a 35-15 lead after just one quarter.
Kevin Durant was stroking early on in the contest, and scored 14 points alone in the opening frame. Los Angeles defenders looked helpless trying to defend Durant, and he along with Russell Westbrook pretty much had their way throughout the entire game.
Oklahoma City extended its lead to 26 points before halftime, and then never looked back as they entered the fourth quarter with a 37 point lead. None of the Thunder starters played in the final quarter and were able to get some extra rest before Monday’s road matchup with the Clippers (9:30 tip).
Durant finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Westbrook added 13 points and 11 assists. Enes Kanter was a monster in the second half off the bench, and finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Also playing well was Steven Adams, who made all four of his shots and finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Louis Williams led the way for the Lakers with 20 points.