Lakers breezes past Westbrook-less Oklahoma City
The Thursday evening match-up between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder had all the markings of a trap game and it delivered, as the hosts from Southern California defeated the visitors 106-81 at the Staples Center.
The Thunder arrived in town off an emotional victory over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena earlier in the week and the young Lakers are one of the hottest home teams in the NBA.
Oklahoma City was also without All-Star Russell Westbrook, with the point guard from Long Beach missing the game with an ankle injury. Los Angeles has now won eight home games in a row and increased their current winning streak to four games. The Lakers have also won eight of their past 10 contests and could be primed for a late playoff run alongside the Utah Jazz, who have also been extremely hot.
Leading the way for Los Angeles was Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as the 24-year old scored a team high 20 points while pulling down seven rebounds and passing out an assist. It was a busy day for the Lakers as Los Angeles made changes at the deadline. In doing so the Lakers freed up cap space to go after two max free agents this summer or next.
Oklahoma City will head back to the Midwest to square off with the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday in Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Los Angeles travels to Texas to take on the Dallas Mavericks in the first contest of a three game road trip.
The Lakers are still 4999/1 to win the Western Conference, while the Thunders are 4999/1 and the Golden State Warriors 10/19.
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