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FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Thunder – Game 63

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (30-33) | Oklahoma City Thunder (28-34)

 

The Los Angeles Lakers managed to get a win while missing three of their star players, as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 123-117

The Lakers vs Thunder took place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Wednesday night.

Lakers vs Thunder
Photo Credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP

The Los Angeles Lakers were short-handed against the Oklahoma City Thunder, with Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and D’Angelo Russell all out. However, the Lakers managed to grind out a 123-117 victory.

Darvin Ham said the Lakers don’t want the circumstances of winning and losing games to dictate how we manage our players’ health.” He said Davis sitting out was “precautionary.”

However, misfortune seems to haunt the Lakers, as Schroder went down and grabbed at his left foot. He limped to the bench on his own, but Los Angeles had to call a timeout. Schroder is one of the tougher players in the league, and he went to the locker room to get his ankle taped up, and he stayed in the game.

LeBron James, D’Angelo Russell, and Anthony Davis did not play in the Lakers vs Thunder game. 

Schroder was terrific in the second half after hurting his ankle in the first. After going 1-for-7 in the first, he finished the game with 26 points (8-for-18 FGs, 3-for-6 3s, 7-for-8 FTs), six assists, and two steals.

Start of the Lakers vs Thunder first half

Lakers vs Thunder
Photo Credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP

Everybody chippin’ in, everybody just being competitive, playing together no matter what staying together,” Schroder credited the whole team for the win. Ham said postgame that Schroder would get treatment on his ankle, and then they’ll see how he feels the next day.

After a tough shooting night in Memphis, Troy Brown Jr. bounced back in this one, starting 4-for-4 with three triples, plus a steal, that had the Lakers up 48-44. Brown finished the contest with 19 points (7-for-10 FGs, 4-for-7 3s), four assists, and two blocks.

Rui Hachimura was also huge, totaling nine points (3-for-6 FGs, 1-for-2 3s), nine rebounds, and three blocks off the bench.

Tonight we took a big step chemistry-wise,” said Austin Reaves, with the Lakers, forced to figure things out without James, Davis, and Russell on the floor. Reaves stepped up with 19 points and four assists on 5-for-5 FGs and was 8-for-8 at the free-throw line before missing his last attempt.

End of the Lakers vs Thunder first half.

Reaves added, “I try not to put myself in a position to take a bad shot.”

Start of the Lakers vs Thunder second half.

Lakers vs Thunder
Photo Credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP

Meanwhile, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was in health and safety protocols for the Thunder (and missed the last three games with injuries). With this loss, Oklahoma City has now lost five straight.

Jalen Williams led the Thunder with 24 points (9-for-17 FGs, 3-for-5 3s), seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Josh Giddey trailed behind him with 22 points (10-for-17 FGs, 1-for-4 3s), nine rebounds, 11 assists, and four turnovers. Luguentz Dort had 19 points (7-for-16 FGs, 1-for-7 3s, 4-for-6 FTs).

The Lakers started 4-for-8 from deep, putting them in front with an 11-point lead in the first quarter, but allowed the Thunder to trim it to just one, at 31-30. The Thunder got a bunch of wide-open 3’s against the Lakers’ coverages and made seven 3s.

The Thunder led 60-57 at halftime with 12 points each from Dort and Giddey. However, the Lakers opened the second half on a 10-2 run to take a 67-62 lead. They also took a 90-84 edge into the fourth, then took a 13-point lead in the final quarter before holding on.

To close it, Schroder caught Isaiah Joe and swung through to draw bonus free throws with 13.5 seconds left, then Schroder drew a foul by hounding Josh Giddey and selling contact from Jaylin Williams, the screener.

The Lakers finished their three-game trip 2-1, as they won an important game without James, Davis, and Russell to improve to 30-33. Up next is the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Wasn’t gonna be easy by any means ending the three-game road trip in this building, but we found a way, and it worked out,” Ham said postgame on how proud he is of this team having overcome adversity.

The final score of the Lakers vs Thunder game was 123-117, Los Angeles. 

The Lakers travel back to the Crypto.com Arena to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves Friday, March 3rd, at 7:30 p.m. PT. The game is on Spectrum SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and Bally Sports North.

 

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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