The Oklahoma City Thunder saw their 4-game winning streak come to an end on Monday night, falling to the Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 112-105 at Crypto.com Arena. The loss drops the Thunder to 20-23 on the season.
Back-and-Forth Battle Down to the Wire
The game featured 10 lead changes and was tight throughout, with the largest lead being just 9 points. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 24 points, while LeBron James and Anthony Davis powered the Lakers with 25 points apiece.
Davis had a thunderous dunk midway through the fourth quarter that brought Lakers fans to their feet. But the Thunder kept battling, eventually tying the game at 101 with 3 minutes remaining. However, clutch play down the stretch from James and Davis ultimately sealed the win for Los Angeles.
“It was a hard fought game that came down to the last few possessions,” said Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault. “I’m proud of our effort and resilience. We need to clean some things up, but we were right there with one of the best teams in the league.”
Status of Gilgeous-Alexander Still in Question Entering Monday
Entering Monday’s matchup, there was some question around Gilgeous-Alexander’s status as he has been dealing with a knee injury. However, he was cleared to play and showed no ill effects, playing 36 minutes in the loss.
“My knee felt good enough to give it a go tonight,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “There was some soreness throughout the game but I didn’t want to miss this matchup against LeBron and AD. I’ll continue to get treatment and hope I can play through this.”
What’s Next for Both Teams
The Thunder and Lakers meet again on Tuesday night to finish their back-to-back. While Los Angeles improved to 25-19 with Monday’s win, the Thunder appear poised to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race despite the loss.
“It’s never easy playing here, but I see a lot of fight and talent in this young Thunder group,” James said after the win. “They have a bright future and some great players. I expect them to continue playing at a high level.”
Both teams have nearly reached the midway point of the NBA season. After Tuesday’s rematch, the Thunder return home for three straight games. The Lakers embark on a six-game road trip beginning on Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
|Place in Conference
|Oklahoma City Thunder
|10th in West
|Los Angeles Lakers
|5th in West
The Thunder appear ready to continue battling for playoff position out West despite losing Monday night’s thriller against the Lakers. With players like Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort leading the way, Oklahoma City should remain competitive as they approach the All-Star break. The Lakers received clutch contributions from their veteran stars to fend off the pesky Thunder, helping solidify their standing as contenders in the Western Conference.
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