It hasn’t been much of a contest between these two teams unless we exclude the first quarter. The Lakers started hot, they took an early ten points lead and tried to set the tone. However, once the Thunder settled down and started to move the ball, they immediately bounced back into the game.
The remaining three quarters have been just a beat down. Oklahoma city firepower on offense, combined with a solid Thunder’s defense, was too much for these young Lakers players. The Thunder took a nineteen points lead into halftime and never look back once.
Let’s start with the surprise of the game: Terrence Ferguson. The young rookie had his first start in the NBA, and he delivered an outstanding performance. Ferguson has not been afraid of shooting all season long and last night he got rewarded. Terrence finished with a 24 points total, 6-9 from behind the three points line, 2 highlight dunks and three steals. This might have been his breakout game. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up against stronger opponents.
Russell Westbrook had a lot of fun last night. You could see it by the way he played. He had some nice plays, nifty movements, and another strong shooting performance. The former MVP finished with 20 points (10-17 FG), 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and only 2 turnovers. This Westbrook is the best Westbrook. Also, Westbrook debuted his first on-court signature shoes.
There was a lot of buzz about Paul George playing against his home team. A lot of questions, pre and after the game, were asked about his future and his thoughts on the Lakers. George seemed pretty honest with his answers: he praised the young players and had a lot of nice words for Lonzo Ball. However, on the court, Paul George didn’t show any sympathy: 24 points (9-14 FG, 3-7 3PT), 3 assists, and 3 steals. No one on the Lakers was able to slow him down.
Carmelo Anthony did what he does best. Spot up shooter with just a little bit of iso-ball. He finished the game with 21 points and an efficient shooting night: 8-14 FG and 3-5 3PT. Let’s also not forget his dunk on Westbrook alley-oop pass, pretty impressive.
Overall it has been a great game for the Thunder, especially on the road. Obviously, the Lakers are really bad, so all the type of analytics and stats coming out of this game have to be taken carefully. However, for once, it was nice to see Oklahoma City play down to its opponent’s level. It was encouraging to see the Thunder having fun, and unlock all their offensive potential.
- FG% 60.2, 3P% 46.7, FT% 77.8, ASSISTS 36, REBOUNDS 44, STEALS 12, TURNOVERS 9
- FG% 41.3, 3P% 33.3, FT% 60.0, ASSISTS 24, REBOUNDS 45, STEALS 5, TURNOVERS 17
The Thunder will play again in Los Angeles, tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers, tip off 9.30 p.m CT
Cover Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images