Lakers big men pushed aside by Thunder front line in 108-101 loss

The Lakers’ big men were called out by their coach.

He called them out for not being physical enough against the far more physical Oklahoma City Thunder big men.

The biggest issue Lakers Coach Byron Scott had with his big men during their 108-101 loss Sunday at Staples Center was how many offensive rebounds they gave up.

Scott watched his big man rotation of starters Carlos Boozer and Robert Sacre and reserve Ed Davis and Jordan Hill give up 16 offensive rebounds.


“I thought their bigs were much more aggressive and much more physical than ours,” Lakers Coach Byron Scott said.

Oklahoma City’s 6-foot-11, 250-pound Enes Kanter moved the Lakers out of his way to get four of his game-high 15 rebounds on offense. He also had 16 points.

The 6-10, 245-pound Serge Ibaka out-muscled the Lakers for five of his 14 rebounds on offense. He had 18 points.

Even 6-0, 183-pound guard D.J. Augustin, who started in place of the injured Russell Westbrook (right facial fracture), had nine rebounds — two on offense — to go along with 18 points and five assists.

“I just think their bigs were more physical. It’s that simple,” Scott said. “You look at Kanter, you look at Serge, (Nick) Collison, those guys are just physical basketball players, and they were kind of able to take it to us, push us under the basket a little bit and gave them second-chance opportunities that I thought really killed us.”

The Lakers were out-rebounded just 55-49. But it was the offensive rebounds the Lakers gave up that led to 20 second-chance points.

“Their whole frontcourt — Kanter, Ibaka, Collison — everybody was crashing the boards and we didn’t box out,” said Jordan Hill, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds. “We didn’t focus on that. They got a lot of points off that.”

The Lakers had six players score in double figures, led by Jeremy Lin’s 20 points on seven-for-14 shooting off the bench.

“I wouldn’t say they out-toughed us,” Davis said. “I wouldn’t say that.”

After saying “all our bigs pretty much were out-played,” Scott was asked what they can do to match the physical play of other big men.

“Got to get in the weight room, I guess,” Scott said, laughing. “That’s one way of thinking about it. I think some of that is a mind-set. You’ve just got to understand who you’re playing against.

“You’ve got to be aggressive as well. You’ve got to be physical as well. If they are hitting you, you’ve got to fight fire with fire sometimes. They did that for 48 minutes. They didn’t let up. Their bigs were aggressive and physical the whole night.”