(Anna Lupean/Los Angeles Lakers)
Lakers at Thunder: 3 Things to Know (1/11/20)
Here is what you need to know before the Lakers wrap up their back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Thunder
1) Greater than the sum of its parts
The Lakers won their 7th straight Friday night despite the absence of Anthony Davis and LeBron James feeling under the weather.
The impressive road victory was achieved due to the efforts of the whole roster – from the defensive prowess of Avery Bradley setting the tone to the third quarter heroics of Jared Dudley.
And the bigs, slowed down by foul trouble, also left their mark. Dwight Howard had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench, and JaVale McGee added another 9 points and a pair of steals.
2) Kuzmania Time sans ‘Deadshot’ and the King
With James and Danny Green already ruled out, Kyle Kuzma will likely be the No. 1 option in the offense.
The third-year forward from Utah is coming off a 26-point performance against the Mavericks, contributing 21 of them in the season-high 79-point first half.
Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso are likely to handle the rock and generate offense for their teammates, but another explosion from Kuz will go a long way toward extending the winning streak to 8 games.
Great game, young fella pic.twitter.com/fhN0Gv6VOt— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 11, 2020
3) Beware of the triple point guard
After trading away Russell Westbrook and Paul George in the offseason, OKC is one the most pleasant surprised in the NBA this campaign.
They’re currently 7th in the Western Conference standings, carrying a comfortable 4.5-game lead on their closest competitor.
One of the biggest reasons for this – besides the contributions of veterans like Steven Adams and Danilo Gallinari – has been the success of their trio of ball-handlers.
Dennis Schroder (18.4) is third in points per game off the bench, while sophomore Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is in the midst of a breakout season. The Canadian-born guard averages 19.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, thriving in a bigger role within the Thunder’s offense.
Meanwhile, Chris Paul is still among the best at his position. The 34-year old is averaging 16.7 points and 6.4 dimes a game while shooting 47.1% from the field, and he hasn’t missed a game yet this season.
Oh, and he’s still doing these types of things:
Lakers: Avery Bradley (flu-like symptoms) is probable. Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion) is questionable. LeBron James (flu-like symptoms), Danny Green (sore hip), and DeMarcus Cousins (right knee rehabilitation) are out.
Thunder: Nerlens Noel (left ankle sprain) and Andre Roberson (left knee injury recovery) are out. Luguentz Dort and Kevin Hervey are with the G League team.
Tip-Off: 5:00 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 Tu Liga
Unis: White Association
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena — Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Recent Stories on Lakers.com