There were brief moments where you believed the short-handed Lake Show might rise to the occasion and give the Oklahoma City Thunder a contest. But in the end it was the same troubles as usual for the Lakers.
In the end it was another no-contest.
Kevin Durant did pretty much whatever he wanted to en route to a season best 42 points on an all-too-easy 16 of 25 shooting. Russell Westbrook sliced through the defenseless Lakers posting a fantasy-friendly 27 with 10 dimes. And for good measure Kevin Martin chipped in with 15 off the bench.
Those would be the only three Thunder in double figures and it was all they needed to outpace L.A. 116-101 to send the Lakers to their sixth straight loss.
This game began with a Lakers’ turnover and by the time it ended the playoff hopes had pretty much been turned over to a higher authority.
At this point it will take a miracle for this squad to see the postseason.
The injuries are such that Earl Clark’s career game just the other night was good for earning him only the second start of his career. Clark posted his second consecutive double-double (10 and 10) while playing 37 minutes. He also tried his hand at guarding Durant which yielded predictable results.
When it comes to predictable these Lakers are a gambler’s dream. Most every game follows a similar pattern.
Either it’s a fast start followed by a slow finish or the exact opposite. No matter what the third quarter is when the opponent makes its move while the Lakers cower in the corner. Tonight bucked the trend as OKC did damage in the second but the end result was the same.
Kobe Bryant again led the way with 28 on 23 shots. He was joined by the recently rediscovered Antawn Jamison who went for 19 off the bench.
But the individual stats are irrelevant. The only stats to keep your eye on are the mounting losses. 21 of them in total in 36 games. If it’s not sinking in then consider this. It will likely take between 45-50 wins to make the playoffs in the West. Do math and you’ll realize the Lakers only have about 15 more losses to spare for the rest of the season if they want to get a sniff of the playoffs.
Is the season over? No because there are 46 more games to be played. But for argument sake go ahead and put a fork in this affair. Even if the Lakers claw their way in all we’ll get are four uninspired games mirroring the one we saw tonight.