Gameday: Thunder 100, Lakers 85

GAMEDAY LINKS: Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Oklahoma City Thunder 19 27 27 27 100
by Play
Los Angeles Lakers 23 20 19 23 85

Thunder top Lakers 100-85, tie Miami as NBA's best


Posted Feb 23 2012 9:39PM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Lakers 100-85 Thursday night to head into the All-Star break tied for the league's best record.

The Thunder won their 12th straight home game and denied Los Angeles the chance to head into the midseason break with back-to-back statement wins on the road. The Lakers had won at defending NBA champion Dallas a night earlier and were trying to follow it by knocking off the other half of last year's West finals.

Kobe Bryant scored 24 points but went 7 for 24 from the field for Los Angeles. Pau Gasol had 22 points and nine rebounds.

Oklahoma City and Miami both have NBA-leading 27-7 records at the break.

The Thunder pulled away in the second half to win their second in a row against the Lakers, who won eight of the teams' previous nine regular-season meetings and knocked Oklahoma City out of the 2010 playoffs in the first round.

The Lakers, once able to use their size advantage against Oklahoma City, struggled to get those same inside baskets against the remade Thunder interior of NBA blocks leader Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.

Center Andrew Bynum started out 2 for 12 before finally hitting three in a row midway through the fourth quarter. His two-handed slam got the Lakers within 81-74 with 7 minutes remaining, only for Oklahoma City to come right back by scoring the next seven points.

Westbrook converted a three-point play, followed by James Harden's two-handed slam and a two-handed putback dunk by Perkins with 4:29 left.

Harden added a second-chance 3-pointer from the right wing off of Perkins' offensive rebound with 2:10 left, leaping in celebration as he ran back on defense. Durant's free throw after Metta World Peace's technical foul 17 seconds later gave the Thunder an insurmountable 95-81 advantage.

Ibaka added 11 points and 13 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which limited L.A. to 39 percent shooting while making 47 percent of its own shots.

The Thunder emerged ahead 46-43 after a closely contested first half, with Westbrook connecting on a 3-pointer from the left wing with 0.8 seconds left and Durant stealing Bynum's inbounds pass along the left baseline before hitting a jumper before the buzzer.

Bynum and World Peace, his intended target, walked off the court discussing what went wrong.

The Lakers would never lead again.

Durant converted a three-point play and Daequan Cook hit a 3-pointer during a burst of eight straight points for Oklahoma City midway through the third quarter, and the lead stretched to 71-58 when Cook followed Harden's slam by hitting a right wing jumper with 1:43 left in the period.

NOTES: After looking back at the video, Los Angeles coach Mike Brown said he thought a foul by Dallas' Brendan Hawyood on Gasol in the final minute Wednesday should have been a flagrant foul. "I'm sure the league has seen it and I'm sure that they'll take whatever action they think is necessary for it. That definitely was not just a normal foul or a regular foul," Brown said. ... Durant was a late addition to the 3-Point Contest at the All-Star game, giving him a chance at redemption after last year's last-place effort in which he scored only six of a possible 30 points. "His last year's performance was pathetic. ... Right now, he needs coaching," Brooks said. We need to bring back the H-O-R-S-E contest so he can bring something home." Durant won the H-O-R-S-E contest in 2009 and 2010. ... Perkins is just two technical fouls away from a one-game suspension, with 11 through 34 games. "It's going to be very difficult for Perk to not engage in any physical play on the court that referees deem that's a little excessive but he has to," Brooks said.

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 Bryant 24, 7-24 FG
Rebounds Bynum 12, 2 OFF 10 DEF
Assists World Peace 5
Steals World Peace 2
Blocks Bynum 2


Mike Brown:

Opening statement:

“They (the Thunder) played a terrific basketball game. I thought tonight, for the first time in a while, we didn’t do a good job of getting the ball from one side of the floor to the other. Our ball reversal game was not as good as it has been the last few games. I didn’t feel like we had a good flow offensively, but give Thunder defense credit for that. Obviously, when we took long shots, I thought that those guys did a nice job of rebounding those long shots. We didn’t have any easy buckets and they had a whole lot of easy buckets based on our long shots and their transition game. You know it’s just something we knew coming in that we aren’t a team that can run with this team, and we have to take great shots and move their defense and try and play inside-out basketball to try and control the tempo. We didn’t do it tonight, so we give them credit.”

On the Thunder having more success in the second half:

“No, they just kept doing what they were doing and we weren’t hitting our shots. I thought earlier in the game we were making some shots and our flow was there a little bit. I thought our movement was there a little but in the second half we just looked tired at times. I don’t know if we are or not, but we can’t play tired or you can’t play stagnant against this basketball team because they have so many athletes in every position. And if you do, they will over play the passing lanes. If you don’t execute counters like we didn’t tonight, then you will stand and stand and watch and watch and they are going to come up with a deflection which will lead to a dunk the other way. We just have to do a better job. We didn’t do as good of a job as I hoped offensively moving the bodies and moving the ball.”

Kobe Bryant:

On tonight’s game:

“They did a great job of taking opportunities when they presented themselves. We could never get the game back in balance.”

What the Lakers have to work on:

“We have to work too hard to get points. I’m sure coach will talk about that during the all-star break. We have to make our jobs a little easier.”

On Kendrick Perkins:

“In my opinion, he is the best one-on-one post defender in the league. That gives them an added presence. He is also a good help defender and a good pick-and-roll defender.”

Pau Gasol:

On tonight’s game:

“We had the game under control for most of the first half, and then they (Thunder) made a run at the end of the second quarter. We didn’t close the half off well at all. In the third quarter, they just came out and played their game and we made it a little easier for them by not moving the ball and settling for jumpers.”

On the Thunder:

“They are a very athletic team. They like to run and you have to be smart about your possessions when you play them. You have to know what you’re doing, otherwise they are going to hurt you.”

Derek Fisher:

On tonight’s game:

“This is a good basketball team and it is easy to try to figure out all these magical reasons why we lost the game, when in fact we just played against a team that was just better than us tonight. We didn’t give ourselves a chance in this game.”

On what needs to change after the break:

“Just how we can continue to make everyone better on our team. I think we have done a decent job at times. But right now, essentially, Kobe, Pau and Andrew are having to score 70-plus points and then everyone else pitching in here and there. I think if we can improve our execution and ball movement where we can actually utilize the full capabilities of everyone on the team, I think we can give ourselves a better chance.”

Scott Brooks:

Opening Statement:

“I think it was a great basketball game. It was a physical game; it was game of physical and mental toughness. And our bigs, you know, you’re so proud of them every night. They come and give you everything they have. They defend, they rebound, they set screens; they are the unsung heroes on our team. They come in and do it everyday, everyday in practice and every game. They allow the dynamic athletes to get open looks and get shots in transition. I thought [Kendrick] Perkins and Serge [Ibaka] did a terrific job of making their bigs earn every spot on the floor. They weren’t allowing them to get easy position, and when they got them, they were forcing them to make tough shots. They deserve a lot of credit for this win.”

On if this served as a clinic for Perkins on how to play defense without fouling:

“Absolutely. He has done it all year. He is a premiere low-post defender in this league. You can put him on anybody in this league and if they do score on him it is a great move or a great off guard break or great shot by a player. He gives you everything. He is strong. He is tough, and he has a mind set that it doesn’t bother him to hit people. He loves to be tough and loves to be physical. He has changed how we play. We are a tough team. We fight every possession and we have to give Perk a lot of credit. He instills that in all of our guys.”

On Serge Ibaka playing physical:

“Yeah, I mean Serge [Ibaka] does obviously. He leads the league in shot blocks and he protects the paint and he cleans up a lot of our mess out on the perimeter. But he is a physical guy. He loves to push off or battle you down there for spots and position. But we need him to protect that rim. We feel like we have a good, solid group of bigs, that they all understand their job and their role, and they love to do it…and they do it every night.”

Kevin Durant:

On Gasol and Bynum:

“(Pau) Gasol and Andrew Bynum are tough. They’re tough to deal with but I think we did a great job. They made some tough shots, which they’re going to do because they’re all-star players. I think we did a good job, everybody using their length and their hands to disturb them a little bit.”

On Kobe Bryant:

“Kobe, he’s a shot maker. Those shots are normal to him. We made him shoot some tough ones and he made a few, but he missed a few as well. I’m glad he missed some tonight. James (Harden) did a great job of playing hard. Daequan (Cook) did a great job of playing hard, and I’m glad we got the win.

On going into the break:

“I’m glad we’re going into the break with some wins, but I think it’s important that we come out of the break with some energy and some momentum.”

Daequan Cook:

On his offensive production:

“My teammates know that I’m always running when I’m on the floor, and they look for me on those shots and they have the confidence in me to take those shots. So it’s just important for me to knock down those shots.”

Lakers-Thunder Preview


Though the Los Angeles Lakers have played well of late, it still might not be enough to cool off the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Tied for the best record in the NBA, the Thunder look to extend their home winning streak to 12 games Thursday night when they face the Lakers for the first time this season.

Los Angeles (20-13) won its second straight and fifth in six games, 96-91 at Dallas on Wednesday. The Lakers also have won three of five on the road, but visit an Oklahoma City team that’s 14-1 at home.

Tied with Miami for the NBA’s best record, the Thunder (26-7) have averaged 107.9 points on 50.5 percent shooting during an 11-game home winning streak that followed a 103-93 loss to Portland on Jan. 3. The Thunder last won 12 straight at home twice during the 1997-98 season when based in Seattle.

The Lakers have won their last two visits to Oklahoma City, including playoffs, but had their four-game overall winning streak against the Thunder snapped with a 120-106 home loss April 10.

Kevin Durant scored 31 points in that contest and Russell Westbrook added 26 for the Thunder. Durant has averaged 24.8 points in 20 career regular and postseason games against the Lakers. Westbrook, meanwhile, averaged 26.7 with 8.3 assists while the Thunder dropped two of three to Los Angeles in 2010-11.

Westbrook scored 31 while Durant added 28, nine rebounds and six assists as the Thunder used a 30-3 first-half run en route to a 119-104 win over Boston on Wednesday. Oklahoma City shot 50.0 percent from the field, including 9 of 19 from 3-point range.

“When a guy is open you have to hit him and you have to knock down your shots,” reserve Royal Ivey told the Thunder’s official website. “Having that continuity is great with this group of guys. We have shooters on this team, so when you find an open guy, you’re hoping that guy knocks the shot down.”

Los Angeles shot 46.1 percent against the reigning NBA champion Mavericks, but stars Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol each missed a pair of free throws with less than 40 seconds left to allow Dallas to hang around. The Lakers were an ugly 18 of 31 from the free-throw line for the night.

“(This win) shows we’re on the same page and we’ve got a lot of character,” Gasol said.

Bryant averaged 32.0 points on 50.7 percent shooting in the previous three games, but went 4 of 15 from the floor and finished with 15 points Wednesday. He’s averaged 26.7 in 20 regular season and playoff games against the Thunder since Durant entered the league in 2007-08.

Gasol had 24 with nine rebounds while Andrew Bynum added 19 and 14 boards Wednesday to help the Lakers improve to 6-11 away from Staples Center.

This was a strong performance for Gasol during a week in which Bryant stood behind his teammate by calling out the Lakers’ organization for their reported indecision on whether or not to trade the 7-footer.

“I just try to put everything behind me,” Gasol said. “I just try to play the game. I try to play aggressive.

Though Gasol has averaged 18.3 points overall during his career against the Thunder franchise, he’s put up 13.8 per contest in four road games since the team moved to Oklahoma City.

Probable Starters


  #15 World Peace SF #35 Durant  
  #16 Gasol PF #9 Ibaka  
  #17 Bynum C #5 Perkins  
  #24 Bryant SG #14 Cook  
  #2 Fisher PG #0 Westbrook  


Steve Blake
(costochaondral fracture) is probable.

Eric Maynor
(torn right ACL) is out.
Thabo Sefolosha
(right foot soreness) is out.
Lazar Hayward
(orbital floor fracture) is out.
James Harden
(left ankle sprain) is day-to-day.
Nick Collison
(left quad contusion) is day-to-day.

Game 1: 2/23 - LAL @ OKC
Game 2: 3/29 - OKC @ LAL
Game 3: 4/22 - OKC @ LAL


The Lakers currently lead their season series with the Mavericks 1-0 after taking last season’s
series from Dallas 2-1. The Lakers last lost a season series to Dallas in 2006-07 (1-3), their first
series loss to the Mavericks since the 1986-87 season and only the third ever (1983-84). Overall,
the Lakers are 7-3 against the Mavericks in their last 10 games. In Dallas, the Lakers have gone
4-6 in their last 10 games at American Airlines Center. The Lakers are 19-4 all-time against the
Mavericks at STAPLES Center and 8-2 in their last 10 home games overall. In their first meeting
this season, Derek Fisher connected on a game-winning three-pointer with 3.1 seconds
remaining to give the Lakers a 73-70 victory on 1/16/12 at STAPLES Center. The Lakers won in
spite of recording the franchise’s second lowest scoring quarter in the NBA’s shot clock era (7
points, third quarter) as their defense limited Dallas to their lowest scoring game in series history
(previous low was 80 points 4/6/97 in a game that included the Mavericks posting an NBA recordlow two point quarter). In their first meeting of the 2009-10 season (10/30/09), the Lakers lost for
just the 11th time at home against the Mavericks in the regular season, ending a 6-game win
streak against Dallas as well as a 4-game home win streak against the Mavs. Also that season,
on 1/3/10 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers established a new series record for margin of victory
over Dallas, defeating the Mavericks by 35 (131-96), surpassing the old 33-point margin of victory
established 12/1/93 (124-91). In their first meeting of the 2008-09 season, Jason Kidd posted his
101st career triple-double and his fourth ever against the Lakers. In December of 2005, Kobe
Bryant established a new series record with 62 points against the Mavericks in a 112-90 victory at
STAPLES Center. In that contest, Bryant single-handedly outscored the Mavericks 62-61
through three quarters. In 2007-08, Bryant again went over the 50-point mark against the
Mavericks, scoring 52 points in the Lakers 108-104 overtime victory March 2 at STAPLES Center.
Mavericks forward Lamar Odom was traded to the Mavericks earlier this season on December
11th. In 519 games (382 starts) with the Lakers over seven seasons (2004-2011), Odom posted
career averages of 13.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists while earning the 2010-11 Sixth
Man of the Year Award and helping the Lakers to two NBA Championships. In the postseason,
the Lakers and Mavericks have met in the playoffs four times (1984 WC Semifinals (4-1), 1986
WC Semifinals (4-2), 1988 WC Finals (4-3), 2011 WC Semifinals (0-4)) with the Lakers advancing
on three occasions.

In their 103-92 victory over the Trail Blazers on February 20 at STAPLES Center, the Lakers outscored Portland 29-7 in the first quarter, where they held the Trail Blazers
to just 3-of-17 shooting and outrebounded Portland 21-5. The Blazers’ seven first quarter points marked their lowest first quarter points total in their 3,363-game history in
the NBA. The total also matched the second lowest first quarter points total allowed by the Lakers since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season; on February 4,
1987, the Lakers outscored the Sacramento Kings 40-4 in the first quarter in a 128-92 victory at The Forum and on January 9, 2004, the Lakers outscored the Atlanta
Hawks 34-7 in the first period in a 113-67 victory at STAPLES Center. The last time the Lakers held a team to seven points or less in any quarter came back on December
9, 2009, when they outscored the Utah Jazz 28-6 in the fourth quarter in a 101-77 victory at STAPLES Center.*

With nine rebounds in the Lakers 111-99 victory over Phoenix 2/17 at STAPLES Center, Kobe Bryant (6,005 career rebounds) became the ninth guard in NBA history to
accumulate 6,000 rebounds (includes players listed as G, G/F or F/G). Jason Kidd, the only guard in league history to amass 8,000 rebounds, tops the list, with Oscar
Robertson (G), Scottie Pippen (F/G) and Chet Walker (F/G) the only other guards to post at least 7,000+ rebounds. Magic Johnson (6,559) leads all Lakers guards in
career rebounds while Michael Jordan is another notable guard on the list with 6,672 career rebounds.

With a 23-foot jumper at the 5:08 mark in the second quarter 2/6 at Philadelphia, Kobe Bryant moved past Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) for fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring
list. Last season, Kobe Bryant moved past Hall-of-Famers Moses Malone (27,409) 3/8/11 at Atlanta, Elvin Hayes (27,313) 2/27/11 at Oklahoma City, Hakeem Olajuwon
(26,946) 1/28/11 vs. Sacramento, Oscar Robertson (26,710) 1/7/11 vs. New Orleans, Dominique Wilkins (26,668) 1/4/11 vs. Detroit and John Havlicek (26,395) 12/10/10 at
Chicago on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next on the all-time list ahead of Bryant (28,601) are Wilt Chamberlain (4th/31,419), Michael Jordan (3rd/32,292), Karl Malone
(2nd/36,928) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1st/38,387). Among the top six scorers in NBA history, five have worn the Lakers uniform.

Bryant has been steadily moving up the list over the past few years. In 2009-10, he passed Alex English (25,613), Reggie Miller (25,279), Jerry West (25,192), Patrick
Ewing (24,815) and Allen Iverson (24,368). In passing West with a slam dunk at the 4:14 mark of the third quarter February 1, 2010 at Memphis, finishing the game with 44
points (West’s retired number), Bryant became the leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. In 2008-09, Bryant passed Gary Payton (21,813) and Hall-of-Famers Charles
Barkley (23,757), Robert Parish (23,334), Adrian Dantley (23,177), Elgin Baylor (23,149), Clyde Drexler (22,195) and Larry Bird (21,791).

On February 6th at Philadelphia, Andrew Bynum totaled 20 points (8-13 FG) and 20 rebounds, marking his second career 20-point, 20-rebound game (3rd career 20+
rebound game). Bynum’s other 20-20 game came earlier this season on January 3rd, when Bynum totaled 21 points (8-15 FG) and 22 rebounds as the Lakers defeated
the Houston Rockets 108-99 at STAPLES Center, becoming the youngest Laker to do so (24 years, 68 days) since Rudy LaRuso tallied 30 points and 21 rebounds on
February 26, 1961 at the age of 23 years, 107 days. Bynum’s only other 20+ rebound game came on 4/5/11 vs. Utah, when he grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds. The
last Laker to record a 20-20 game prior to Bynum was Pau Gasol, who posted 30 points and 20 rebounds on February 16, 2011 at Cleveland.

In the Lakers 95-90 loss at Philadelphia on February 6, the Lakers out-rebounded the 76ers 55-30, marking the first time the Lakers lost despite out-rebounding their
opponent by 25-plus rebounds since they out-rebounded New Jersey 55-28 in a 109-103 loss to the Nets at STAPLES Center on 1/28/05. The last time any team lost
when out-rebounding their opponent by 25-plus rebounds occurred on 3/11/09 at Detroit, when the Pistons out-rebounded New York 64-39, but fell to the Knicks 116-111.

*Statistical research assistance provided by the Elias Sports Bureau

Pick n Roll

Play the Lakers Pick n Roll game for your chance to win tickets to a Lakers game. Just make your picks of which Lakers will lead the team and watch the game to see how you do. Be sure to play the Lakers Pick n Roll game every game home and away as a part of our season long contest.

Login to Lakers Courtside Connection to make your picks


Recent Stories on

Recent Videos

Related Content