Lakers set mark for home woes
LOS ANGELES—For three quarters, the L.A. Lakers tempted the sell-out crowd at Staples Center into believing they would pull off one of the most improbable upsets of the NBA season.
Then Kevin Durant took over and the Lakers got sloppy with the ball—turning it into just another loss in a season full of them for coach Mike D’Antoni’s undermanned squad.
“The easy thing to do is look at it like we didn’t have the proper focus,” said Thunder coach coach Scott Brooks.
“But I’m not going to go there—because when you play against an NBA team that’s prideful like the Lakers, they’re going to have a good game,” he stressed.
The Thunder have a 1.5-game lead on Indiana for the NBA’s best record at the all-star break.
Their 43-12 mark also equals the best start in the franchise’s 47-year history, set by the 1995-96 Seattle Supersonics.
Oklahoma City is 20-7 without second-leading scorer Russell Westbrook, who hasn’t played since getting a triple-double on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden.
Westbrook is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
“This whole group, they are resilient,” Durant noted. “We persevered through everything and just stayed together.
“We had faith no matter what.”
The Lakers, meanwhile, now have lost 22 of their last 27 games, and are tied with Sacramento for last place in the Western Conference.
Chicago beat Brooklyn 92-76 in the only other NBA game yesterday.