L.A. Lakers (55-14, 24-9 road) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (20-50, 14-22 home)
TV: FS Oklahoma HD (Cox 37, HD 722)
Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM)
Time: 7:00 CST
Offensive Rating: Thunder: 103.4 (28th), Lakers: 113.6 (1st)
Defensive Rating: Thunder: 109.1 (20th), Lakers: 105.5 (6th)
Pace:Thunder: 93.6 (8th), Lakers: 94.7 (5th)
For OKC’s first matchup against Los Angeles, I looked at nine things the Thunder really needed to focus on in order just to hang close with the mighty Lakers. Among those were get to the line, hold the Lakers to under 105 points, turn it over fewer than 15 times and outrebound them. And OKC did six of the nine really well and stayed close deep into the fourth.
At home last time (a game I predicted stupidly that OKC would win), the Thunder got close to L.A. with Kobe on the bench but never seized the moment. Despite losing by 14, I really feel like the Thunder let something slip away. They played well all over but just didn’t make shots. So what can OKC do to actually beat the Lakers? Not just stay close, but beat probably the best team in the league?
1. Score 100. The Lakers have lost 14 games this season. Eleven of those games were lost when their opponent scored 100 points. Granted, L.A. is 25-11 when their opponent scores 100+, but that means they’re 30-3 when the opponent doesn’t. Keep Reading…