Oklahoma City Thunder 122, Lakers 97 (final)
The Thunder made short work of the Lakers on Friday night, coasting to a 25-point win.
Forward Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. Point guard Russell Westbrook just missed a triple-double with19 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.
Oklahoma City scored at will on the Lakers, shooting 47.5% from the field, their field-goal percentage dipping in the fourth quarter as reserves finished the game.
Kobe Bryant did his best at point guard in just his third game back after an Achilles' tendon injury. The Lakers are shorthanded at the point with Jordan Farmar (hamstring), Steve Blake (elbow) and Steve Nash (back) all sidelined.
Bryant finished with only four points and had seven turnovers in 23 minutes but he did have 13 assists.
Nick Young led the Lakers with 17 points. Xavier Henry (15), Pau Gasol (14) and Wesley Johnson (13) also scored in double figures.
The Lakers shot 41.4% from the field and had 19 turnovers. They were also dominated on the boards 59-41.
Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka notched a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards.
Bryant, Gasol, Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka didn't play in the fourth quarter.
Chris Kaman made a return after back issues, scoring nine points in 12 minutes. Kaman last played on Nov. 17 against the Detroit Pistons.
With the win, the Thunder improve to 18-4. The Lakers dip to 10-12, travelling to Charlotte to play the Bobcats on Saturday.
The Thunder host the Orlando Magic on Sunday.
Thunder 94, Lakers 74 (end of third quarter)
Kobe Bryant has 13 assists through three quarters but the Lakers have struggled to stop the Thunder, which has a 20-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant leads all scorers with 31 point on 10-of-13 shooting. Power forward Serge Ibaka has added 19 points, missing only five of 13 shots, while point guard Russell Westbrook has scored 19 with 12 assists and eight rebounds.
The Lakers have been led by 14 points from Pau Gasol. Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson and Nick Young each contributed 11 points as the Lakers shot 41.4% from the field.
The Thunder has made 50.7% of hits shots.
Bryant has only four points, turning the ball over seven times in 23 minutes.
Thunder 66, Lakers 51 (halftime)
After the Lakers scored 10 unanswered points to cut the deficit to single digits, Oklahoma City reeled off 12 in a row to extend its lead to 18.
By halftime, the Thunder had a 15-point advantage on the visiting Lakers, led by 22 points from Kevin Durant on 7-of-9 shooting.
Pau Gasol was the Lakers' leading scorer with 12 points as the team shot 44.9% from the field and had 10 turnovers.
The Thunder shot 50% from the field, getting 15 points from Russell Westbrook and 10 apiece from Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson.
Kobe Bryant scored four points with seven assists and five turnovers in 14 minutes.
Thunder 38, Lakers 28 (end of first quarter)
Playing their first game without a point guard, the Lakers started well against the Oklahoma City Thunder by building a six-point lead.
Then the bottom fell out, with the Thunder going on a 16-3 run, eventually pushing ahead by as many 14 points.
Kobe Bryant started at the point and had two points with two assists and three turnovers.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant led all scorers with 12 points while point guard Russell Westbrook added 11.
Nick Young scored eight to lead the Lakers. Pau Gasol and Jodie Meeks scored six apiece.
The Thunder started Andre Roberson at shooting guard for Thabo Sefolosha (knee).
The Lakers (10-11) start a four-game trip in Oklahoma City, visiting one of the top teams in the league in the athletic Thunder (17-4).
With Steve Blake (elbow), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Steve Nash (back) all sidelined, Kobe Bryant will have to start at point guard for the Lakers.
The Lakers are also expected to round out the starting lineup with Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill and Pau Gasol.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Thunder.
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun