Game Recap: Lakers 90, Thunder 87

News and notes following the Thunder’s 90-87 loss to the Lakers on Sunday:

  • Thunder fans showed up early, Oklahoma City Arena was almost full half an hour before tip-off. The fans showed their appreciation for the team’s newest members, giving a rousing ovation to Nazr Mohammed, Nate Robinson and Kendrick Perkins when they were introduced before the game.

  • An aggressive first quarter on defense for the Thunder, especially for Serge Ibaka, who altered shots and grabbed five rebounds. The Thunder out-rebounded the Lakers, 9-6, in the opening period.

  • Pretty good on offense too, the Thunder hit 10 of 16 for 62.5 percent. Thabo Sefolosha hit a pair of 3s; he and Russell Westbrook each had eight points in the quarter to lead the Thunder.

  • Oklahoma City turned a 21-20 lead with a couple minutes to go in the first quarter into a 35-22 advantage at the 10:14 mark in the second quarter with a 14-2 run.

  • The Lakers turned the tables and tied the game at 42 with 5:00 to go in the half with a 20-7 run.

  • Thunder continued to out-rebound L.A. at halftime (16-14) and out-shoot the Lakers, 61.1 percent to 52.4. The Thunder were also hot from long-range in the half, hitting 4 of 6 of their 3-pointerss, the Lakers misfired on most of theirs, hitting just 2 of 9.

  • The third quarter was rough. The Thunder hit just 5 of 22 and scored 13 points, the lowest point total in any quarter this season. Offensive struggles continued into the fourth quarter. OKC tallied 31 points on 12-for-40 shooting, (30.0 percent). “We were just unable to knock down shots,” said Westbrook. “Sometimes it happens like that where you are defending but you can’t make shots.” ... Said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks: “We had a stretch there where we missed some shots, but I’m proud of our guys that we kept battling back.”

  • The Lakers managed just 39 points in the second half on 44.1 percent shooting.

  • Kobe Bryant hit a big 3 late in the game and then the shot that proved to be the game-winner, but most of the night he was bottled up by aggressive defense from both Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden. Bryant finished with 17 points on 8-for-22 shooting. “I thought James was really good on Kobe when he was out there,” Brooks said, “and I thought Thabo was really good, too. He’s one of the best defenders in the league. I know Kobe made the big shot but those guys were really good on him.”

  • Kevin Durant and James Harden each missed 3-pointers that would have tied the game in the last seconds. “I got a good look. Once I let it go, I thought it was good and James felt the same way,” Durant said. “It was kind of like the rest of the game, I just felt like nothing could go our way. We just have to keep pushing it along, keep fighting and staying positive.”


PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW: Thunder active on the boards to begin the game, OKC grabbing all the loose balls. ... Durant creates his own shot with a nice little jump step against Artest and then knocks down the shot for a 6-0 lead. ... Sefolosha all over Kobe Bryant, steals the ball and comes down court and lays it in. ... Durant with another big-time move on Artest late in the first quarter, fakes one way, goes the other and drives around the L.A. forward then is fouled on his shot. ... On the next series, Durant is double-teamed out beyond the 3-point arc but finds a wide open Serge Ibaka at the free-throw line and he nails a jumper. ... In the second quarter, James Harden knocks the ball out of Artest’s hands, Russell Westbrook grabs it, races past Kobe Bryant with a cross-over dribble, leaps high into the lane and jams it home. ... Durant, again double-teamed late in the first half, this time by Artest and Gasol but since the big man came out to guard KD, Nick Collison was all alone along the baseline, Durant found him and Nick flushed it. ... Thabo Sefolosha continues to play great defense on Bryant, right up in his face, Kobe was just 3-for-8 shooting for six points halfway through the third quarter. ... Nice move by Serge Ibaka to step past a sprawled out Kevin Durant after Durant had been knocked down by Derek Fisher. Ibaka ran into the lane for a slam that led to an L.A. timeout. ... James Harden with some nice “D” on Bryant also forcing him into two consecutive misses.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Despite some problems with the Lakers down low in the past, Oklahoma City stood up pretty well Sunday. The Thunder actually scored more points in the paint, 40-34, and out-rebounded L.A., 39-36. The Thunder also pulled down more offensive rebounds (12-9).

LAST WORD: The Thunder has now lost three in a row for the first time this season. “I think it says a lot about our guys that we haven’t lost three in a row until now,” Brooks told reporters. “The spirit of our guys is always on a high level. We’ll bounce back with a couple of days of good practices and be ready for Wednesday night.”

UP NEXT: The Thunder will host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night inside Oklahoma City Arena. Tip-off is 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Thunder Radio Network.