Russell Westbrook posts quadruple-double, gets ejected as Lakers blow 26-point lead in ugly loss to Thunder

If there was any query about how a lot the Los Angeles Lakers miss LeBron James, Wednesday evening’s ugly 123-115 loss to the beforehand winless Oklahoma City Thunder serves as displays A, B, C and D. With James out as a result of an ankle damage, the Lakers blew a 26-point first-half lead in one of many worst losses that the franchise has ever suffered.

Together with the playoffs, the Lakers had received their earlier 230 video games when main by 25 or extra at any level throughout the contest. Welp, make that 230-1.

“This can be a recreation that we’re positively presupposed to win, we’re not presupposed to lose in any respect,” Lakers huge man Anthony Davis stated after the loss. “However we study from it and transfer ahead.”

The Lakers seemed unstoppable early in opposition to OKC, who got here into the sport 0-4 and seemed to be on their option to one other loss. Behind Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and a few sizzling capturing, the Lakers had constructed a 26-point lead with 6:44 left within the second quarter. Davis, who entered the sport with a questionable designation as a result of a knee subject, seemed like he would almost definitely get the fourth quarter off in a blowout win.

However then issues took a drastic flip. The Thunder slowly lower into the lead and trailed by 16 at halftime. Within the third quarter, OKC outscored the Lakers 41-23, taking the lead on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s banked-in 3-pointer as time expired.

The Thunder constructed their result in as many as eight factors within the fourth quarter, however even nonetheless the Lakers had ample alternative to salvage the victory late. After Westbrook missed a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left that might have tied the sport, the Thunder inexplicably dedicated an 8-second violation regardless of having a timeout.

The Lakers had one other likelihood to tie the sport on the following possession, so who did they go to? Westbrook? Davis? Carmelo Anthony? Nah, Malik Monk stated, “I bought this,” and hoisted an airball from 27 toes whereas underneath excessive duress from Gilgeous-Alexander.

Then, yet one more present from the basketball gods. OKC rookie Josh Giddey, who performed extraordinarily properly down the stretch and completed with 18 factors and 10 assists, fired the following inbounds cross on to …… Carmelo Anthony, who, in case you forgot, performs for the Lakers.

Anthony walked right into a wide-open 3-pointer that might have tied the sport, however as a substitute, he got here up a couple of foot quick and the ball landed within the palms of Gilgeous-Alexander, who was promptly fouled.

This time the Thunder have been in a position to get the ball inbounds efficiently, Luguentz Dort made two free throws, and the sport was successfully over. Since it is the Lakers, nonetheless, there needed to be extra drama earlier than the evening was over.

Thunder ahead Darius Bazley stole the Lakers’ inbounds cross with 4 seconds left and dribbled in for a breakaway dunk. Apparently, Westbrook took exception to Bazley selecting to dunk the ball because the OKC crowd celebrated its first win of the season, moderately than dribble out the clock, and made positive his opinion was identified. Westbrook was ejected from the sport, including a nice to one of many worst losses within the NBA to date this season.

“How I play the sport, I am extra old skool. When s— like that occurs, I do not let it slide. Within the recreation of basketball, there’s sure belongings you simply do not do,” Westbrook stated of Bazley’s closing dunk. “The sport was already over, and I did not prefer it. Easy as that.”

Westbrook completed with an ignominious quadruple-double of 20 factors, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 turnovers, whereas Davis scored 30 factors, solely one in every of which got here within the closing three minutes. Gilgeous-Alexander was good for OKC, ending with 27 factors, 9 rebounds and 5 assists on 5-for-11 3-point capturing within the comeback win.

The Lakers clearly had issues orchestrating half-court offense late within the recreation with James out of the lineup. That is comprehensible, since James is without doubt one of the finest, if not the very best, to ever do it. However that is why you could have different stars in Davis and Westbrook. They’re supposed to forestall you from blowing enormous leads in opposition to winless groups, however clearly that did not occur on Wednesday evening.

The Lakers fall to 2-3 with the loss and are 1-1 this season with out James within the lineup. | Russell Westbrook posts quadruple-double, will get ejected as Lakers blow 26-point lead in ugly loss to Thunder


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