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Preview 38 of 82: Thunder @ Lakers

Preview 38 of 82: Thunder @ Lakers

Time: 9:30 PM CT

TV: ESPN / Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS (98.1 FM OKC / 97.1 FM Tulsa)

Game Notes: Thunder / Lakers

The Oklahoma City Thunder (20-17) is in Los Angeles tonight for a tilt with the Lakers (11-25). The Thunder will be without defensive ace Andre Roberson, as he’s set to miss the next three games with tendinitis in his left knee. The Lakers will be without starting point guard Lonzo Ball, but both Kyle Kuzma and Brook Lopez are available after beginning the day with “questionable” designations.

Tip-off is set for 9:30 PM CT on ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma. The Thunder is currently a six point favorite according to Odds Shark.

Injury Report


  • Andre Roberson: Out — Knee


  • Lonzo Ball: Out — Shoulder
  • Kyle Kuzma: Active — Quad
  • Brook Lopez: Active — Ankle

Probable Starters

Lakers: Tyler Ennis, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez/Julius Randle




Four Factors


Synergy Sports

Click to enlarge

Thunder: O & D

Lakers: O & D


Elephant in the Room. The teams will take the floor with a giant elephant in the Staples Center — that elephant of course being Paul George. It’s long been rumored he will end up wearing purple/gold and he did push for a trade to LA before ending up in Oklahoma City in the off-season. Just yesterday he said he “would have loved to go back home and play for my city,” reigniting the rumor mill ahead of this summer’s free agency period. The Thunder shouldn’t expect to find Los Angeles overly hospitable but PG will likely receive a lot of love from the crowd. Consider it open recruiting season on OKC’s starting small forward.

All the Confidence. When asked if he will make a sales pitch to Paul George regarding free agency, Russell Westbrook today said, “The sales pitch is when we win a championship. Beat that pitch.” Find someone who believes in you the way Russell Westbrook belives in Russell Westbrook.

Lakers Injury Bug/Losing Streak. The Lakers enter tonight having lost seven straight and 10 out of their last 11 games. Lonzo Ball — the team’s leading rebounder and assist man — has missed five straight with a bum shoulder and will be inactive again tonight against the Thunder. Brook Lopez has missed eight straight but is expected to be available. Kyle Kuzma — the team’s leading scorer (17.5 PPG) — played just 18 minutes due to a quad injury in the Lakers’ loss to Minnesota on Monday but is also available for head coach Luke Walton.

Snapping the Slide. OKC has lost two straight after reeling off six consecutive wins. Getting back on the right side of things is certainly a good possibility given the Lakers’s recent struggles. That being said, you just never really know with this Thunder team.

No Ball Family. With Lonzo Ball sitting and the rest of his family visiting Lithuania, the Staples Center will be Ball-free tonight. There goes the possibility for a potential Russell Westbrook/Steven Adams hilarious interaction with Lavar. Maybe next time.

MPLS. The Lakers will be wearing classic “MPLS” jerseys tonight, honoring the team’s history in Minneapolis.


Russell Westbrook on his “sales pitch” to Paul George. Via Fred Katz.