George helps Thunder rout Lakers

LOS ANGELES — Throughout the season, even though the Los Angeles Lakers have lost over two dozen games, the miscues have largely been competitive.

But that changed Wednesday night when they played the Oklahoma City Thunder, who trounced the Lakers 133-96. The loss pushed the losing streak to seven for Los Angeles.

Head coach Luke Walton said the loss “felt different” than other losses.

“This doesn’t sit well,” Walton said. “I think it’s more of an outlier. I don’t expect this to become the norm when we struggle. I think there’s a lot of factors that go into blowouts. We’re not supposed to do that at home on national TV with our crowd showing up and the energy that was in the building to start. We’re not supposed to let that happen.”

Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 18 points on 50% shooting, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 12 points and pulled down six rebounds. Jordan Clarkson led the bench with 11 points.

Rookie Terrance Ferguson and Paul George scored a game-high 24 points for the Thunder, while Carmelo Anthony added 21 points and six rebounds, and Russell Westbrook had a double-double with 20 points and 12 assists.

After the Lakers started with a furious 10-0 run to start the game, they found themselves tied at 26 after the first quarter. But after that, it was all Oklahoma City.

“I didn’t like the way it was headed in the second quarter, honestly,” Walton said. “The whole energy seemed to change. I thought early, we were actually playing the game we wanted. We were executing defensive what we wanted to get done and we were five guys hitting the defensive glass and then we were out to the races.

“In the second quarter, the energy just kinda shifted and they started doing whatever they wanted. We weren’t coming in and getting our rebounds, and when we did, we weren’t running down our lanes. We were kinda running on top of each other a little bit. The energy changed in the second as far as when it officially got away from us.”

The Lakers trailed by as many as 39 points in the fourth quarter. Daniel Hamilton’s 3-pointer with 1:34 left int eh game gave the Thunder the advantage.

Kyle Kuzma sounded frustrated when discussing the loss.

“We just flat out gave up,” Kuzma said. “You can see. They got basket after basket. We had no resistance on them on the defensive end. And on the offensive end, when things got tough, we tried to do it individually. Can’t do that in this league.”

The Thunder took a 23-point lead when Steven Adams threw down a hard dunk off an assist by Russell Westbrook in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

The Thunder got some separation midway though the second quarter with a 11-1 run led by George and Anthony. George scored 13 of his 17 first-half points in the second quarter alone.

The Lakers shot only 31.8% in the second frame, while the Thunder shot a blistering 66.7%. Oklahoma City outscored Los Angeles 37-18 in that quarter.

NOTES

Thunder: Scored only 17 points off the bench for the entire game. Ferguson’s 24 points were a career high. He came into the game averaging 1.3 points per game.

Lakers: Randle started his fourth consecutive game. Lopez returned after missing the previous eight games with an ankle injury. He scored 10 points and had five rebounds.

UP NEXT

Thunder: At L.A. Clippers today.

Lakers: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

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