For the second straight game, the Thunder somehow pushed the NBA champions to overtime in a scrappy loss. The Lakers were missing Anthony Davis (out – Achilles) to punish the undersized Thunder, who were once again undermanned with an active roster of just eight players featuring none of their three true point guards. As they have made their habit, OKC didn’t let their headcount slow a relentless attack against an LA defense uninterested in keeping up. Al Horford (25-8-8) co-starred with Hamidou Diallo (15-5-13) and KENRICH WILLIAMS, who defied his hustle/garbage man reputation with a career-high 24 points racked up via several nifty moves and quality decision-making.
Oklahoma City ran out to a first half lead as large as 20, but the Lakers slow-footed their way back into the game, trailing by 10 at the half, 4 after three quarters, and exchanging the lead throughout the final frame thanks to some offensive spark from Dennis Schroder (19 quick-strike points) and Montrezl Harrell (20 big boy points) combined with cold shooting by Darius Bazley (4-15, 1-4 3PA), Lu Dort (7-17, 0-5 3PA), and Mike Muscala (2-10, 0-5 3PA). LeBron James (25-7-6) was note quite as dominate as usual, but did methodically steer the Lakers to and through overtime with clutch scoring, a “because I can” three to tie it on LA’s final possession of regulation, a back-breaking assist to put the Lakers up for good in OT, and breaking up the Thunder’s final inbounds play after the teams traded leads down to the wire.