Lakers Make It Rain (3s), Not Thunder
Following a loss in Memphis last night, the Lakers (14-13) faced off with the Oklahoma City Thunder (8-17) in the second half of a back-to-back. Unlike the games prior, where OKC completed two-19+ point comebacks for wins, the Lake Show dominated in all 48 minutes tonight, winning by a final of 116-95.
Much like the recent weather back home in L.A., the Lakers were showering threes from all parts of the court, finishing with a season-high 19 made three-pointers (three shy of tying a franchise record in a single game).
Avery Bradley was the shining star tonight, hitting six (game-high) of his eight attempts from beyond the arc, good for 22 points. He added four steals and two rebounds in 26 minutes. On the defensive side of the ball, Bradley matched up with the Thunder’s top scorer in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for most of the night and only allowed 11 points and four assists.
Frank Vogel spoke highly on AB’s big night on both sides of the ball during the postgame.
“Anything we get offensively is a bonus,” Vogel said. “If we’re going to move the basketball and let the ball find energy and find the open man, guys like Avery are going to have big shooting nights. After what [Gilgeous-Alexander] did to us the first two games, Avery Bradley was fantastic on the ball with him. He just had a great two-way performance for us tonight.”
LeBron certainly stepped up without his star big man for the second time this season, finishing with 33 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks in 35 minutes.
Austin Reaves had a career night, scoring 13 points to go along with five rebounds and two assists.
Russell Westbrook was unable to crack double-digit points for the second night in a row but still managed to score eight points in addition to nine rebounds, seven assists and a block.
DeAndre Jordan played 11 minutes and recorded three points, four rebounds and a steal. His first two rebounds of the night marked a milestone, as he became the 41st player in NBA history to grab 10,000 rebounds in a career.
“I actually didn’t know that happened during the game,” Jordan told the media. “I think it’s super cool, with this being my 14th season and the gradual steps I’ve taken in my career, early on, and building and trying to make [rebounding] a great niche for me. It’s great to be among those other players to have done that.”
DeAndre 10000 pic.twitter.com/rVUsowhITQ— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 11, 2021
In those two previous losses to OKC, the Lakers were without LeBron James on both occasions. Tonight, they were without Anthony Davis (left knee soreness) but had LeBron in the lineup. Despite AD’s absence, the team stepped up and did not allow for another dramatic comeback by the Thunder.
Vogel did not have any further updates on Davis’ injury but mentioned the medical team checked on him prior to game time and ruled him out at least for tonight.
The Lakers will fly home and prepare for a Sunday night matchup with the Orlando Magic before hitting the road once again for three stops in Dallas, Minnesota, and Chicago next week.
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