The Lakers gave the Oklahoma City a scare on Thursday night, taking a 10-point lead into the final quarter, but All-Star forward Kevin Durant took over in the fourth, scoring 19 of his 43 points to push the Thunder to a 107-103 victory.
The short-handed Lakers didn't quit after falling behind by five points with about two minutes left, but Chris Kaman's free throw didn't fall after a tremendous post move to score with 22.5 second left on the clock and the Thunder hit their free throws down the stretch to hold on for the win
Durant made 14 of 33 shots (42.4%) from the field and all 12 of his free throws in the game. He also collected 12 rebounds and dished seven assists.
Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall tied his career high with 17 assists. He also scored 14 and had seven rebounds. Kaman also had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to go along with six assists for good measure.
Turnovers were a major problem for the Lakers. Steve Blake and Robert Sacre each had four. Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill and Marshall each had three. The Lakers had 23 turnovers.
Durant had six turnovers himself, although the Thunder finished with 15 as a team.
The Lakers shot only 59.1% (13 of 22) at the free-throw line while the Thunder missed only three all night (21 of 24).
Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson (16 points), reserv guard Derek Fisher (12), reserve guard Jeremy Lamb (11) and power forward Serge Ibaka (10) all scored in double figures.
The Lakers had six players at 10 or more, including Johnson (19), Shawne Williams (15), Blake (13) and Jordan Hill (10).
Oklahoma City shot 44.3% from the field as a team. The Lakers, who made 48.2% of their shot, lost the game with turnovers and missed free throws.
The Lakers (18-35) are off until Wednesday when they host Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets (36-17).
The Thunder (43-12) return home after the All-Star break to host the Miami Heat (37-14) on Thursday.
Lakers 82, Thunder 72 (end of third quarter)
The Lakers held onto their lead against the Thunder, pushing it up to 15 points late in the third quarter before Oklahoma City scored the final five points.
Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall has notched a double-double in 32 minutes with 12 points and 15 assists. Forward Shawne Williams has 15 points to lead the Lakers, who have shot 51.5% from the field.
Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant is the game's leading scorer through three quarters with 24 points, but he has shot only 9 of 22 from the field, including 0 for 8 from three-point range.
Point guard Reggie Jackson has contributed 14 points for the Thunder, who have shot 44.1% from the field.
Lakers center Chris Kaman has 12 points and nine rebounds while reserve big man Jordan Hill chipped in 10 points.
Lakers 54, Thunder 45 (halftime)
The Lakers played some of their best basketball in weeks, taking a nine-point lead over the Thunder into the half.
Lakers forward Shawne Williams led all scorers with 13 points and he had two blocked shots, including one against All-Star forward Kevin Durant.
Point guard Kendall Marshall scored 12 points and had nine assists for the Lakers. Center Robert Sacre hit all three of his shots for six points off the bench.
Durant scored 12 points but shot only 5 of 13 from the field. Point guard Reggie Jackson contributed 10 points for the Thunder, who shot 41.3% from the field.
The Lakers shot 51.1% from the field and 53.8% (7 of 13) from three-point range. The Thunder made only 2 of 11 shots (18.2%) from long range.
Lakers 24, Thunder 17 (end of first quarter)
Despite playing extremely short-handed against the team with the top record in the NBA, the Lakers jumped out to an early lead over the Thunder and maintained it.
Kendall Marshall scored 10 points in 12 minutes on 4-of-6 shooting, helping the Lakers climb ahead of the Thunder by as many as nine points.
Kevin Durant matched Marshall with 10 points but Oklahoma City shot only 29.2% from the field.
The Lakers shot 43.5% and had seven assists on their 10 field goals. Marshall led both teams with three assists.
Chris Kaman scored four points and had six rebounds in nine minutes for the Lakers.
The Lakers (18-34) host the Oklahoma City Thunder (42-12) on Thursday night.
Even without Russell Westbrook (knee), the Thunder have the best record in the NBA.
Injuries have decimated the Lakers. They'll play without Kobe Bryant (knee), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), Pau Gasol (groin), Nick Young (knee), Jodie Meeks (ankle), Jordan Farmar (hamstring) and Xavier Henry (knee).
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out Preview: Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder.