As has been the pattern with the Lakers, against Oklahoma City last night they got off to a decent first-quarter start, but the final three periods were embarrassing. 25-25 after 12 minutes, the Thunder outscored the Lakers 68-48 over the next 24 minutes, and not at the raucous Chesapeake Energy Arena, but at Staples. The vaunted Lakers’ defense has given up an average of 110 points per game over their now six game losing streak, their longest in six years.
Two of the great young stars in the game, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbook, dominated the game, while the “Old and Slow” Lakers trudged along on the backs of elder statesmen Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, the meta-tag psycho artest thing, and believe it or not, Antawn Jamison.
And that takes us to the only real surprise of the game, the fact that for the first time in recorded history, the LA bench outscored the opponent’s bench, by a 38 to 26 count. OF course, if James Harden were still with the Thunder, he would have outscored the LA bench by himself. Most of the bench scoring came with over-the-hill Jamison having an offensive resurrection, storing 19 points and pulling down 10 boards. While I’ll be holding my breadth waiting for that to happen again, he will be seeing more playing time now that Jordan Hill is done for the season.
New starter Earl Clark had a decent game, but nothing like the 22-13 he put up the night before. And we end with a salute to that meta-tag psycho artest thing and his 1-of-9 on three pointers performance, and to Mike D’Antoni for so graciously affording him the unfettered opportunity.