GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Box Score Oklahoma City Thunder 25 39 29 23 116
Play by Play Los Angeles Lakers 25 23 25 28 101


Durant, Thunder send Lakers to 6th straight loss


Posted Jan 12 2013 1:11AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) Kevin Durant scored 42 points, Russell Westbrook had 27 points and 10 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder easily sent the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth straight loss, 116-101 Friday night.

Kevin Martin scored 15 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Thunder, who romped to a 27-point lead in the second half of their seventh win in nine games. Oklahoma City (28-8) matched the Clippers for the NBA's best record with a virtuoso game from Durant, who had 38 points midway through the third quarter.

Kobe Bryant scored 28 for the Lakers, on their first six-game skid since March 2007.

Antawn Jamison added 19 points as Los Angeles looked lost and overmatched in its third straight game without starting big men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited


View More Photos

Points Durant (OKC), 42
Rebounds Clark/Sacre, 10
Assists Westbrook (OKC), 10
Blocks Clark and Perkins (OKC), 3


Mike D'Antoni:

On the game:
“We played hard the whole game, they were just better. Kevin Durant was just unstoppable and we tried a little bit of everything on him. They were just longer, faster, better- team wise, and we crumbled away. Second quarter really hurt us.”

“I told the team that the biggest thing is that our season starts Sunday. And we have got one run and have one shot at it and they need to get ready mentally and physically and flush this down the toilet. And Sunday we have to be ready. And from there on we cannot make any more false steps. That is just how it is. We put ourselves in this ditch and we are the only ones that can get us out. And hopefully we can get some guys back and start our season on Sunday.”

“We won’t be mathematically out of it Tuesday, if we don’t do it Sunday, but it has got to turn around somewhere. And we have to make our stand and do it. I am an optimist and I think it can happen. We are going to get some guys back, but we can play well enough.”

“Our offence turned the ball over. They got away from us when they had a few fast breaks. We had a few mistakes on Durant and when you make just a little mistake on Durant, he is punishing you. And he did that. We didn’t switch at the end of the second quarter and there was a three there. It came down that they played a lot better than we did. But, I am not going to focus on that, I am going to focus forward and get ready.”

On the three point shooting:
“The first half we were 0-11 and they were all wide open, so you could say you’re getting the wide open shot don’t shoot it, drive in with it, but you have 3-5 seven footers so you cannot turn it on and off in that sense.”

Kobe Bryant:

On what changed after the first quarter:
“We gave them a lot of easy opportunities. We had a lot of defensive lapses which gave them some easy ‘cracks’ at the basket, and they took advantage of it.”

On Kevin Durant’s performance:
“I don’t think it was a game where he was on fire. I thought we just gave him very makeable shots. When you give guys that are that good at shooting the ball makeable shots he’s going to make them.”

On potentially moving forward without Jordan Hill:
“We just have to have guys step up and play well. [Earl] Clark has been playing extremely well for us. You just have to step in and contribute. I’m more disappointed for Jordan [Hill]. He’s really worked hard. He played well for us last year, and he’s been playing well for us this year.”

On if he believes the team can turn it around:
“Yes, I absolutely do. I’m just very frustrated and upset about what we’re going through right now and how we’re playing. We’re going to have to make some big adjustments if we want to be successful. But, yes I do.”

Earl Clark:

On what happened after the first quarter:
“We just didn’t make shots. A lot of shots that usually fall for us just weren’t there. They just got easy fast break points and played a great game.”

On what the team needs to do to become successful amid the injuries:
“We just have to compete on every possession. With the team we have now, we can’t have mental break downs on defense. We have to get back. [Kevin] Durant and [Russell] Westbrook got going, those are their two primary scorers, and it just killed us.”

On Kevin Durant’s performance:
“Anybody that scores 40 in this league you have to tip your hat to. He takes a lot of shots, he’s one of the top scorers in the league and it’s going to happen. He just had a good night tonight.”

Steve Nash:

On what changed at end of first quarter:
“I think we showed some fight but we were just a little over mashed. They’re bigger than us at almost every position. Kevin got hot and we couldn’t contain him in the second quarter. I just think the difference in depth and quality took over a little bit. I thought there were some action things tonight that we did better. Defensive transition was better. We were just a little over mashed. I feel for the guys that we couldn’t put up more of a fight but I got to tip my hat. They played well.”

On if they could have done a better job defensively on Kevin Durant:
“I think if you watch the tape of course you could pick it a part. Say we could have done this and that better but it’s one of those nights where I think he made some tremendous shots. He took mismatches into the post, made some jump shots, there were even some loose balls that came back to them and there he was for a layup. He was terrific tonight. We could have maybe played him a little better but he was still on pace for 30-something no matter how we played him.

Metta World Peace:

On possibility of winning enough to make playoffs:
“It’s definitely possible. So many times we did the impossible. This is just another thing. So many times it has happened. When I got traded from Chicago to Indiana, we had to win the last 5 games in a row to make it to the playoffs and we did. When I got traded from Indiana to Sacramento I was on a team, not as talented as this team and we were in the same situation in February and I let that team through the next 5… I came here and we had to get 13 points in the last quarter in game 7. You’re asking the wrong person.”

Scott Brooks:

On tonight’s game::
“We shot the ball well. Kevin (Durant) had a hot hand and they missed some shots. We have to put things in proper perspective. They have some of their best players not playing tonight and they’re shorthanded. Like I said before the game, they’re going to be a different team once they get everybody back. But we played well. We made shots and we passed the ball extremely well, we shot 50 percent and then we rebounded. When we defend and rebound, we’re a pretty good team on the offensive end.”

“Kevin (Durant) got hot and we made some good plays and the three at the end of the half was good. I just thought we had a bad stretch of turning the ball over and not defending and we took care of that in the 2nd quarter, we kind of regrouped later in that 2nd quarter, but we made some shots. Anytime we make shots, we always play with a lot of enthusiasm, and it was just a good game for us.”

On on Kevin Durant’s season high and Russell Westbrook’s double-double:
“They’re good players. They’re good players and they deserve all the credit. They work hard every day, they work for everything they get, nothing is ever given to them, and they’re still going to keep improving. They’re 24 years old and they have a fantastic mindset going into practice and games and it’s a good group to coach.”

On the difference in the team from last season:
“Well, we have some good experience, the last few years with all of our guys. When we made the trade, we knew that we we’re still going to be a good team. Kevin Martin brings a lot of good offense and he’s a solid defender, he gives us another experienced player. But our players are better. They came back better this summer. I thought the Olympic experience for all of them, even Serge (Ibaka) with team Spain. I thought everyone came back a little bit better. We pride ourselves on defense and as long as we have our defensive mindset, we’re going to always be a team that’s going to compete for wins.”

Kevin Durant:

On tonight’s win:
“It was a great team win for us, no matter what coming in here it’s tough to win. The guys did a great job of just playing together, playing both ends of the floor and not taking these guys lightly even though they got two of the best players in the world out. So we just wanted to come in here and have a good game.”

On the team’s overall performance:
“We started the game off pretty well and then we had a tough stretch at the end of the first quarter. Coach [Brooks] just kept emphasizing that we have to close out those timeouts, those three minute timeouts you got to do a good job of carrying those and playing a game with in a game and we wanted to win those. Every timeout, we wanted to win those games. So guys did a great job of sticking together on the defensive end. Things don’t go well for us sometimes, we got to stick together and stick with our defense and our offense we moved the ball a lot so it was a good win for us.”

On the team’s offensive performance:
“We moved the ball so well. We were finding open shots, guys were getting to the lane. We got so many guys that can drive and kick and get a bucket on their own so we’re just moving the basketball. Once it gets moving the defense gets moving and it makes it easier for everybody.”

On how he worked offensively when facing a variety of Laker defenders:
“Just worry about shooting a good shot and making a strong move, that’s all I worry about it doesn’t matter who’s guarding me. Different guys were guarding me tonight I just tried to get to my spots and shoot the shots I normally shoot. Try to let it fly.

Kevin Martin:

On the team’s defense:
“If they’re missing that means they’re missing shots and we know we’re capable of filling up the scoreboard. Coach brooks loves to concentrate on field goal percentage on the defensive side of the ball and any time we hold them under 40% we have a good shot of winning.”

On Kevin Durant:
“He’s a special player. He’s the heart of our team and we just like to follow his lead. He brought a lot of intensity and you see your superstar bring intensity like that everybody else better bring it also.”

Russell Westbrook:

On the ease of tonight’s win:
“It wasn’t easy. I just think we did a good job of playing team basketball and defensively it showed for four quarters. Our job is to worry about our team and our organization and come out every night and play our team basketball. ”

On his role tonight:
“Kevin [Durant] took control most of the game. My job is to make sure everything is in control and that’s what I tried to do. I’m just playing trying to win every night, trying to play my game and help my team win.”

On the team’s defensive play:
“I think we did a good job of just making them shoot over our hands. I think we did a good job of contesting, playing great defense and rebounding the basketball.”

On driving into a Lakers lane absent of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol:
“It’s a little different, but we can’t worry about that, the other team. I think we did a good job of playing our brand of basketball.”



Posted Jan 10 2013 5:16PM

The Los Angeles Lakers may not have any of their injured players back as the club tries to avoid its first six-game slide in six seasons.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will arrive in Los Angeles with some recent experience against short-handed teams.

The Thunder return to Staples Center for the first time since last season's playoffs Friday night when they try to add to the Lakers' woes as the Western Conference's top scorers - Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant - again match up.

Los Angeles (15-20) completed a two-game trip earlier this week without Dwight Howard (shoulder), Pau Gasol (concussion) and Jordan Hill (hip). Howard and Hill will not play Friday while Gasol has not been ruled out.

Forwards Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark received more minutes in Tuesday's 125-112 loss to Houston and Wednesday's 108-105 defeat at San Antonio. Bryant scored 27 on Wednesday.

"We have lost five games in a row, it is pretty self explanatory," Bryant said. "We played very hard and I think we figured a few things out. We still have to straighten some things out on the defensive end but I feel like we competed and that was very important."

Los Angeles last dropped six in a row during a seven-game slide March 2-15, 2007.

The Lakers did not have Gasol or Steve Nash when they fell 114-108 at Oklahoma City on Dec. 7 in the lone previous matchup this season. Durant outscored Bryant 36-35, with Russell Westbrook adding 33 for the Thunder (27-8).

That was the teams' first meeting since last season's West semifinal series won by the Thunder in five games. Oklahoma City's last game at Los Angeles was a 103-100 victory in Game 4 when it rallied from a 13-point deficit with 8:02 left as Durant hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 14 seconds to go before Bryant missed his tying attempt on the Lakers' next possession.

The Thunder will be facing another opponent missing key players. They lost 101-99 at Washington on Monday even through the Wizards had three players out before bouncing back Wednesday for a 106-84 rout of a Minnesota team playing without All-Star forward Kevin Love and four other injured players.

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks mentioned before shootaround that Minnesota was in the same situation as Washington. Brooks could provide a similar theme for this game.

"Everybody locked in and focused in on Minnesota tonight," Brooks said. "I was glad they came out, and I knew they would. We've always been a team that takes pride in how we play, and they did tonight."

With Bryant averaging 30.1 points and Durant 28.1, it's not surprising that these teams are among the best in scoring with Oklahoma City averaging 105.4 and Los Angeles 103.2.

The Thunder figure to have an edge defensively in the paint with Howard and his 2.6 blocks per game out. Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka is the only West player with a better average of 2.9 blocks.

Westbrook has averaged 21.8 points and 8.2 assists in his last six meetings with Nash - all wins for Oklahoma City - with the former Phoenix guard averaging 10.5 points and 9.2 assists in those defeats.

Copyright 2012 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Probable Starters .
  #24 Bryant SF #35 Durant  
  #15 World PeacePF #9 Ibaka  
  #50 Sacre C #5 Perkins  
  #1 Morris SG #2 Sefolosha  
  #10 Nash PG #0 Westbrook  


Lakers Steve Blake
(abdominal surgery) is out.
Pau Gasol
(concussion) is out.
Jordan Hill
(right hip /herniated disc) is out.
Dwight Howard
(torn labrum, right shoulder) is out.

12/07 - LAL 108 @ OKC 114
01/11 - OKC @ LAL
01/27 - OKC @ LAL
03/05 - LAL @ OKC