By: Alberto Bodei
The Thunder beat the Los Angeles Lakers 113-96. That’s now 3 wins in 3 games to open the 2016/2017 season.
Like in the previous two games the Thunder started slowly. The Lakers immediately took a 16-8 lead which forced Donovan to call a timeout to settle things down. Oklahoma City came back and responded with a 12-2 run. The first quarter ended with the Thunder leading by 6 points and Westbrook counted 5 assists.
In the second quarter, Oklahoma city took control of the game and went into halftime with a 58-46 lead. An interesting stat after 24 minutes was the assists/turnovers numbers: 17 assists and 7 turnovers.
Why is this an interesting stat? Because the Thunder had a total of 13 assists and 22 turnovers in the whole game vs the Suns.
The second half started with two quick fouls by Domantas Sabonis which forced him to go back to the bench. This is going to be an issue for the rookie during the first part of the season. He is good on offense and can move his feet on defense but he has to learn how to avoid silly fouls.
The Thunder played a sloppy third quarter: Five turnovers and they missed a lot of good open shots. Although the Lakers aren’t a great team at the moment, they took advantage of it. They were able to cut the lead down to 6, heading into the fourth quarter.
The last twelve minutes of the game started as the previous twelve ended: Bad possessions and bad turnovers. This time, though, from both teams.
With Russell Westbrook back in the game after few minutes of rest, the Thunder were able to push for a 13-point lead. The Lakers responded directly with a 9-0 run, cut the lead to 4 and kept the game interesting. That, though, was the last push from the Californian team. Russell Westbrook went into beast mode and lead a 13-0 run for the Thunder, and made all the fans in the Chesapeake Energy Arena jump off their seats and closed the deal.
Russell Westbrook had already his second triple-double of the year with 33 points (11-21 shooting and a notable 5-6 from the 3-point line) 16 assists and 12 rebounds. He is the first player to have 2 triple doubles in the first 3 games of the season since Magic Johnson did in 1982-83.
Oladipo had 20 points, Adams finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Kanter added 16 points.
The Thunder will now travel to California for their first back to back of the season, surely not an easy one. Wednesday night they are going to play in Los Angeles versus the Clippers and Thursday night in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.