Lakers’ rally falls apart late in 122-105 loss to Thunder
Thunder 122 - Lakers 105 (final)
The Lakers fought their way back from 18 down in the third quarter to within five with a little over six minutes left in the game. The Oklahoma City Thunder responded with a knockout blow, scoring the game’s final 12 points to defeat the Lakers 122-105.
Russell Westbrook scored 37 points with 10 rebounds and five assists. Kevin Durant had 26 points with nine and five as the Thunder shot 47.9% from the field.
Oklahoma City turned the ball over just twice in the game (tying an all-time NBA low). They missed two free throws in 24 attempts.
The Lakers were led by 30 from Kobe Bryant, who struggled with an ulnar nerve contusion (elbow). Dwight Howard fouled out with just six points although he pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds.
Steve Nash keyed the Lakers’ comeback, finishing with 20 points but his team couldn’t overcome their 16 turnovers despite 12 made three-pointers and 31 made free throws.
The Lakers shot 40.3% from the field for the game, falling back below .500 to 30-31. They’ll play in New Orleans against the Hornets on Wednesday night.
The Thunder improved to 44-16 with the win.
Thunder 97 - Lakers 89 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers fought their way back from an 18-point deficit, closing within eight points after three quarters.
Steve Nash came alive after a 1-of-7 shooting first half, the veteran point guard hit 5-of-6 from the field in the third quarter to score a total of 17 points through three quarters.
Kobe Bryant had 28 for the Lakers including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Dwight Howard didn’t take a shot in the third but had 12 rebounds through three.
The Lakers held the Thunder to just 18 points. They’re led by 34 from Russell Westbrook and 22 from Kevin Durant. Oklahoma City shot 47.4% from the field. The Lakers shot 44.8% from the field and 77.8% from the line (28-36).
The Thunder still only had one turnover for the game through three. The Lakers had 13. Antawn Jamison started the second half instead of Earl Clark.
Thunder 71 - Lakers 55 (halftime)
The Thunder finished the first half with their biggest margin over the Lakers at 16 (71-55). Kevin Durant scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting and Russell Westbrook had 19 points. Oklahoma City shot 52% from the field.
The Lakers shot 40.5% from the field but stayed somewhat competitive, making 20-of-27 free throws and five-of-eight three-pointers.
Kobe Bryant scored 18 for the, Lakers but Dwight Howard and Steve Nash each shot 1-of-7 from the field. Earl Clark had 12 points, but also turned the ball over five times.
The Lakers had 11 turnovers in the half. The Thunder had just one.
Thunder 37 - Lakers 28 (end of first quarter)
The Lakers had all kinds of problems in the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Kobe Bryant left just 3 1/2 minutes into the game with an elbow injury, heading to the locker room.
After the Lakers called him questionable to return with an ulnar nerve contusion, Bryant checked back into the game with four minutes left in the first.
Meanwhile, the Lakers shot just 36.8% from the field with six turnovers. Most of their scoring was done at the line (12-16). Earl Clark led the Lakers with 10 points.
Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 13 points. Kevin Durant had 11 as the Thunder shot 48.1% from the field and 10-11 from free-throw line.
Oklahoma City didn’t turn the ball over in the first 12 minutes. The Lakers fell behind by as many as 14 before making a late run.
The Lakers (30-30) visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (43-16) on Tuesday night.
While the Lakers beat Oklahoma City at Staples Center on Jan. 27, the Thunder have lost just four games at home all season.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Thunder.
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