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Monday, April 15, 2024

Los Angeles Lakers dispatch Thunder, move 5 games over .500

BlogLos Angeles Lakers dispatch Thunder, move 5 games over .500

On Monday, the host Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-104 behind 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists from LeBron James. Two days after failing to complete a victory over the reigning champion Denver Nuggets, the Lakers overcame the No. 2 team in the Western Conference behind 26 points and five 3-pointers from D’Angelo Russell, 24 points and 12 rebounds from Anthony Davis, and 16 points from Austin Reaves.

After defeating the Boston Celtics on the road to begin February, Los Angeles moved to 10-4 and tied a season high at 34-29, five games over.500. With a road victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds, while Chet Holmgren chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds for the Thunder, who had just reclaimed sole possession of first place in the league. After the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, Oklahoma City dropped back to second place.

The only losses Oklahoma City has had in the last nine games were from Aaron Wiggins (12 points), Josh Giddey (13 points), and Luguentz Dort (15 points). After just over three minutes of play, the Thunder led 13-2 and quickly extended their lead to 20-8. Despite committing 12 turnovers in the first half, the Lakers stormed back to level the game at 25 all at the end of the first quarter, and they led by as much as 10 points in the second. At the half, they led 52–43.

Los Angeles continued to apply pressure in the third quarter, building four consecutive 17-point leads before closing the game with an 89-72 advantage. Russell’s 3-pointer with 10:12 left in the shot clock gave the Lakers their first 20-point advantage at 97-77. With 9:06 remaining, Russell scored three straight, fiercely contested 3-pointers to give Los Angeles a 103-79 lead.

From there, the Lakers won handily, defeating the Thunder 3-1 to claim the season series.

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