Chris Paul had 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 105-86 victory over the poor-shooting Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points and Steven Adams had 18 for the Thunder (42-25), who never trailed in their first win over the Lakers in four meetings this season. Oklahoma City pulled even with Houston for the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture with five games left.
LeBron James had 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers (51-16), who had another possibly concerning offensive performance while dropping to 2-2 in the bubble. Los Angeles, which has already clinched the top seed in the West and the Pacific Division title, never held a lead for the first time all season.
The Lakers went a season-worst 5 for 37 on 3-pointers and made only 35% of their shots overall. Los Angeles dropped two games behind Milwaukee for the NBA’s best overall record, which won’t provide a real home-court advantage in the NBA Finals this year.
Dion Waiters scored 14 points for the Lakers, whose poor perimeter shooting in the bubble still hasn’t been fixed. They went 1 for 12 on 3-pointers in the first quarter, and they missed 19 of their first 22 attempts until late in the third quarter.
Anthony Davis scored just nine points on 3-for-11 shooting in 29 minutes. That matches his second-lowest point total in a Lakers uniform and his lowest-scoring performance while playing at least 29 minutes since January 2018.
Thunder: They played without Mike Muscala (concussion protocol), Terrance Ferguson (bruised right leg) and Dennis Schroder, who is away from the team for the birth of his second child. ... Adams got his leg caught underneath his body when he fell in a heap with Davis during the third quarter. He left the court briefly, but returned to the game.
Lakers: Dwight Howard sat out with a sore right knee. ... Los Angeles got a scare in the third quarter when Paul elbowed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the ribs, forcing Caldwell-Pope to leave the game. The Lakers are already without Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo. Caldwell-Pope returned later.
Thunder: Face the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
Lakers: Face the Houston Rockets on Thursday.