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New FSM Essential Recap: Lakers vs Thunder – Game 9

Franchise Sports Media

Los Angeles Lakers (5-4) | Oklahoma City Thunder (2-6)



The Los Angeles Lakers suffered another tough defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 107-104.


Lakers vs Thunder
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

This week, the Lakers got the bad news that franchise player and team leader LeBron James is set to miss at least a week of action due to an abdominal strain. The team entered the game 1-1 without James this season but must face a long stretch of missing #6 on the court.

The game began with eight straight points by the Lakers from three different players. Russell Westbrook sank a mid-range shot, followed by two Anthony Davis paint shots under the basket and a mid-range shot by Avery Bradley. Oklahoma City fought back with Darius Bazley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, cutting the lead to two. Davis responded with six points in a row, and a Westbrook three put the Lakers up by 11 early on.

The Thunder attempted to stay close and not lose too much momentum too soon. With 1:19 left in the quarter, the Thunder had cut the lead to four when Gigeous-Alexander hit a three to make it a one-point game. However, Wayne Ellington answered with his own three to put the team back up by four as the first quarter ended with the Lakers up 25-21.

Los Angeles scored seven straight points to start the second quarter, including a Carmelo Anthony running three-pointer and paint points by Dwight Howard. The Lakers built as much as a 19 point lead with 6:21 left in the half with a Westbrook mid-range shot.

The Thunder began to methodically chip away at the deficit as Ty Jerome, and Luguentz Dort got their downtown range warmed up to cut the lead to 11. Oklahoma City took advantage of Laker foul trouble and turnovers as they turned them into points. Los Angeles held on to a 10 point lead until the final minute as Jerome hit two more shots from behind the arc and brought the quarter even.


The Lakers’ lead at the half was 52-48.


Lakers vs Thunder
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The second half began with a Derrick Favors layup to make it a two-point game but was quickly answered by an Anthony three. Over two minutes later, the lead would balloon back up to 10 with two Westbrook field goals, only for Bazley to counter with a three to bring the game back to a single-digit difference. This started an 8-0 run to bring the game to within two after a Gilgeous-Alexander technical free throw.

Westbrook and Davis tried to keep the game in the Lakers‘ favor by matching Oklahoma City’s successful shooting until Gilgeous-Alexander tied the game with 4:41 left in the third quarter. However, the tie didn’t last long as Los Angeles went on an 11-2 run almost immediately afterward. Once the quarter ended, the Lakers took their biggest quarter lead of the night, 80-72, into the fourth quarter.

Kenrich Williams started the scoring for the quarter with a three to cut the Thunder deficit to five. Davis continued to make his presence felt as he turned a blocked layup attempt by Josh Giddey into two points on the other side. Dort hit a three immediately after to bring it back to a six-point game. After more foul trouble, the Lakers found themselves up by just one point after a Gilgeous-Alexander three-pointer. Oklahoma City took the lead after a minute and a half-long stalemate, thanks to a Williams dunk.

Westbrook clawed the team back in it with a layup followed by hitting two free throws to tie the game at 88. Mike Muscala scored five quick points right after to keep the Thunder ahead. The Lakers‘ resilience remained as they tied the game at 93, following free throws from Westbrook and a short jumper from Davis with 2:23 remaining. The Thunder responded with a 6-0 run after free throws to go back up by six.

Rookie Austin Reaves kept the fight alive with a three to cut the deficit to three, but a Reaves foul let Dort sink two free throws to go back up by five. Anthony hit a three with 39.5 seconds remaining to make it a two-point game. Dort slammed it home with 17 seconds left after a timeout to go up by four, but Anthony hit another clutch three with 9.6 seconds left to bring the deficit to within one.

The Thunder were forced to take another timeout and only got to use one second from the clock when Davis quickly fouled Dort on a take. Dort hit both free throws, putting the Lakers in a three-or-nothing position to force overtime. Westbrook attempted the three with 3.5 seconds left, but the shot didn’t go. By the time Davis got the offensive rebound, the time had run out, and the Lakers fell short to the Thunder for the second time in as many meetings. The final score of the game was 107-104.

James‘ presence on the court was missed in this game as just three Lakers were in double digits for points, with Bradley being the next highest scorer at just nine. Davis led all scorers with 29 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for a double-double but suffered a thumb injury during the game, potentially affecting his availability for the next game. Westbrook scored 27 points while Anthony contributed with 21 off the bench.

The Thunder had six players in double digits for points, led by Gilgeous-Alexander with 28 points. Dort added 17 points, while Bazley and Jerome each scored 14. Williams added another 13 points in 30 minutes off the bench for the Thunder.


The Lakers’ next game will be on Saturday as they hit the road to Portland to take on Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. The game will begin at 7:30 and can be seen on Spectrum SportsNet and ESPN2 (except on the West Coast).


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– Matt Dobbs – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Matt on Twitter @RecordBowlerFSM

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