Game Recap: Thunder 120, Lakers 106

News and notes following the Thunder’s 120-106 win over the Los Angeles Lakers:

  • Late in the game Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks leaned over to Laker superfan Jack Nicholson and asked, “you nervous?” If he wasn’t he should have been.
  • The Thunder continue rolling toward the end of the regular season with itsfourth win in a row and it’s a statement win in Staples Center. Oklahoma City goes on a 17-2 run to close out the game and send the Lakers to thier fifth straight loss.
    “Anytime you beat the Lakers it’s a good win,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks, who picks up his first win in Staples Center as the Thunder coach. “We play each other very tough, the two games we lost earlier this year could have gone the other way. This time we made shots at the end.”
  • It’s the team’s first victory on the Lakers home court, it’s also the first time this season L.A. has lost at home after leading at the end of the third quarter.
    “This is a big win for us, especially for our confidence,” said Thunder two-time All-Star Kevin Durant. “It’s good to come in and get a win against a championship team. They do things well, we just played really hard in the fourth quarter.”
  • Durant finished with 31 points on 11-for-15 shooting. Russell Westbrook added 26 in his hometown and was 3-for-5 on 3-pointers. Westbrook also had seven assists, six rebounds and two steals.
    “This is a big time victory for us,” he said, “Tonight we got the stops we needed. Defense and stops those were the keys for us.”
  • The Thunder defense forced nine Laker turnovers in the fourth quarter, three by Kobe Bryant and limited LA to just 37.5% shooting (15-for-40) in the second half. Five of those turnovers came in the last three minutes of the contest.
    “We talked about blocks and steals at halftime,” said Brooks, “We’re one of the best teams in the league in both those categories but we just had two blocks and no steals at halftime. I thought Serge (Ibaka) set the tone in the third quarter with his blocks and our perimeter guys were just great.”
    “The defense kept gettin us the ball back and we hit some shots,” Durant said. “This is another notch on the meter but we wanna win out. We can still be a lot better. We wanna be in championship form, I don’t think we’re there yet.”
  • Fast start for the Thunder going 6-for-7 to start the game and 10-for-13 (76.9%) when L.A. calls a timeout halfway through the first quarter. Kevin Durant 4-for-5 and nine points to start the game, Russell Westbrook 3-for-5 and 10 points in the early going. Lakers just 3-for-9 (33.3%).
  • Lakers make a charge after the timeout cutting the Thunder lead from 12 points at 25-13 down to five points, 36-31 at the break. Thunder shooting 63.6% in the quarter, including 4-for-5 on 3-pointers. LA 47.4%.
  • Oklahoma City’s 36 first quarter points are just two off the season high set against Miami and are the most allowed by the Lakers in any first quarter this season.
  • The game tightens a little more in the second quarter as LA goes on a 20-10 run to close the half. Oklahoma City leads 66-64 at the break. The 66 points are the most allowed in a first half by the Lakers this season and are two off the Thunder’s season high.
  • Thunder shooting 62.2% overall and 66.7% (6-for-9) on 3-pointers. The Thunder hot at the line in the first half also going 14-for-15 (93.3%). OKC out-rebounding LA 16-14 at the break.
  • LA holds the Thunder to 22 points, their fewest of the game, in the third quarter to take a 90-88 lead after three. Oklahoma City shooting 57.7% overall. In the third quarter OKC’s defense limits the Lakers to just 8-for-25 (32.0%) shooting. Kevin Durant with 24 points at the end of the third and Russell Westbrook with 20.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Thunder active on offense and defense to start the and done for the Lakers on several possessions to start, no offensive rebounds on their missed shots, they’ve all gone to the Thunder...Nice screen by Serge Ibaka in the first quarter to spring Kevin Durant who drives around and between Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum for the layin...Smart move from Head Coach Scott Brooks to pull Nick Collison out during a Laker free throw attempt in the last seconds of the first quarter. He puts Daequan Cook in the game and Cook promptly hits a three ball...Eric Maynor fighting off a double-team in the second quarter passes out to a wide open Serge Ibaka who hits the jumper...Maynor again with a nice play in the second, driving the lane and collapsing the defense then finding Ibaka again who goes up and is fouled. Serge hits both free throws...Kendrick Perkins with good defense on Andrew Bynum forcing him to miss a shot early in the this quarter...Russell Westbrook leading a fast break with a great move on Kobe Bryant to get open and score in the lane...The at the other end of the floor Serge Ibaka goes high from behind Bryant to block his shot...Ibaka with another nice play, staying down on a Pau Gasol pump fake then forces Gasol to miss his shot...Thunder defense stuffs the paint at the end of the third quarter, Lakers miss three shots and Nick Collison then grabs a rebound as the quarter ends...Collison fronting Andrew Bynum not letting him get any space and when Bynum goes up for his shot James Harden comes over and leaps high enough to block the 7-footer’s attempt...Collison with a nice cut past Gasol along the baseline to get open. Then he gets a pass from Westbrook to score...Kendrick Perkins with a great hustle play to keep a possession alive and bat a loose ball out to Westbrook...Thabo Sefolosha with active hands against Kobe Bryant knocking the ball away from him for a turnover...Thunder defense forcing LA into nine turnovers in the fourth quarter and less than 40% shooting.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Oklahoma City forces nine Los Angeles turnovers in the fourth quarter and limits the Lakers to just 37.5% shooting in the second half...Thunder finish the game on a 17-2 run...The Thunder force the Lakers into five turnovers in the last three minutes, four of those on consecutive possessions...31 points for Kevin Durant on 11-for-15 shooting...OKC defense limits the Lakers to 37.5% shooting in the second half...The Thunder shoot 55.6% for the game including 47.1% (8-for-17) on 3-pointers...Oklahoma City out-rebounded the Lakers 38-34...It is the team’s fourth consecutive victory.

LAST WORD: “This was a great win but we still have to get better, all of us, including me,” Brooks told reporters after the game, “We want to finish out these last two games strong and then get ready for the playoffs.”

UP NEXT: The quick trip to Cali continues with a Monday night game in Sacramento. Tip-off against the Kings is set for 9 PM. You can watch all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.