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Game Report: Thunder thrash Lakers 116-101

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As it turns out, inserting both Earl Clark and Robert Sacre into the starting line-up wasn’t what the Lakers needed to get an upset win against the powerful Thunder, and they fell to defeat for the sixth straight game. Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant moves past Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

The Lakers fell behind by 11 in the first quarter, but roared back to tie it 25-25 at the end of the first quarter. But they were only teasing us, as they had no real intention of being resilient on this night.

The Thunder came out storming in the second quarter, and took a 16 point lead into half time. And, unlike recent games, the Lakers made no second-half push whatsoever, getting no closer than 16 again until the very last play of the game.

The Lakers defense was bad, but even if it had been great, it would be hard to imagine them stopping Kevin Durant on this night, as he had 42 points on 16 of 25 shooting.

The Lakers’ defense was the biggest problem, but the second biggest was three-point shooting, as the Lakers shot a dismal 6 of 28 (21%) from distance, many of which were wide open chances. Most of the misses came from Metta World Peace (1 of 9) and Kobe Bryant (2 of 8).

In fact, both World Peace and Bryant had poor shooting nights overall, with Metta shooting 5 of 18 (27%) and Bryant shooting 8 of 23 (35%).

My first inclination was to write that Nash had a quiet night, but then I looked at his plus-minus, which was -29 and second-worst only to MWP’s -34. So, Nash clearly had a terrible night. Even if he wasn`t the problem, he was clearly not making his teammates better tonight.

Antawn Jamison had some bad defensive plays, but he was only -5 on the night, and recorded a double-double with 19 points (8 of 17) and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes. Further, he showed some decent chemistry with Nash on offense during the second half.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, the worst news of the night came off the court, as it was announced that injured Jordan Hill would need surgery on his hip, and would likely miss the remainder of the season.

Losing against top-tier teams like the Thunder, Spurs, and Clippers is not what has the Lakers in real trouble. It’s the losses they’ve had against terrible teams that has them outside of the play-off picture looking in.

One of their worst losses of the season was on December 11, when they lost 100-94 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were then 4 – 17. The Lakers have a chance to avenge that loss on Sunday, when they host the now 9 – 29 Cavaliers.

God help them if they can’t get it done.

Lakers’ Player of the Game

In a night where no Laker player played well, Antawn Jamison probably played the least bad of them all, recording a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Tonight’s Top Two Tweets in my Twitter Feed

“No one expected the Lakers to win this game. But the total drubbing + the Jordan Hill news somehow make this result feel horrible.” – @ForumBlueAndGold, post-game tweet

“I can’t think of a single positive thing to take from that game. Just horrid. The differential between those two teams is absurdly stark.” – @LakersNation, post-game tweet

Next Game

Sunday, January 13 vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, 6:30 p.m. PST

About Craig Lawson

Craig Lawson is a Canadian who works during the day and enjoys writing about basketball at night (from the comfort of his wifi-equipped igloo). You can read all his posts at www.steve-nash-chronicles.com, and follow him on twitter @stevenashchroni.

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