Masterful defense propelled Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder to a convincing victory over the West-leading Los Angeles Lakers.
Photo from Michael Dwyer/AP
The Thunder established a defensive tone early in the first quarter, holding the Lakers to just 18 total points in the opening frame. Chris Paul led the charge for OKC, finishing with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, while veteran scoring forward Danilo Gallinari contributed 19 points and 7 boards.
It was a brilliant defensive showing for the Thunder as they held the Lakers to a measly 35% clip from the field, including a lowly 5-37 shooting from the three-point line. Lakers star big man Anthony Davis only produced nine markers in 29 minutes of play, and no one from the purple-and-gold eclipsed the 20-point mark in the scoring column.
James led the charge for the Lakeshow with his double-double performance of 19 points, 11 boards, and 4 assists. Dion Waiters came off the bench to chip in 14 points, while Kyle Kuzma had 10 in the loss.
The Lakers, who are coming off a win against the Jazz, struggled mightily with their shooting. Davis had that 42-point explosion against Rudy Gobert and the Jazz, but came up empty in today’s defeat.
Thunder (105) – Paul 21, Gallinari 19, Adams 18, Dort 14, Gilgeous-Alexander 13, Nader 7, Diallo 7, Roberson 4, Bazley 2, Noel 0, Hall 0, Burton 0
Lakers (86) – James 19, Waiters 14, Kuzma 10, Davis 9, Green 9, Caruso 7, McGee 6, Caldwell-Pope 5, Morris 5, Cook 2, Smith 0, Dudley 0