Third times the charm when the Los Angeles Lakers finally defeats OKC

Dec 10, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) goes to the basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (50) defends during the first quarter at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 10, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) goes to the basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (50) defends during the first quarter at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

The Los Angeles Lakers tried to right the ship in Oklahoma City after another bad loss to the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies. The Lake Show found a new low after losing to a young Memphis team without four rotation players in the lineup particularly their best player in Ja’ Morant and their best defender in Dillon Brooks.

This game only served as a reminder of how many games this team has allowed to get away to lesser opponents, including the two previous games against the Thunder, who came back from huge double digit deficits to win.

The Los Angeles Lakers played without Anthony Davis who was ruled out because of a sore left knee, but it didn’t matter as they blew out the Thunder 116-95 in a game that wasn’t even that close.

In a game where the Lakers actually kept their lead, 3 point shooting was the story as the good guys shot 19-42 for 45.2 percent and the Thunder couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a baseball bat hitting only 10-44 for 22.7 percent.

The good from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

The Los Angeles Lakers got out to a hot start in the first quarter and a half! (But they did that two times before right?)

The Lakers were all over the Thunder in the first half. The offense came from two places. The free throw line and from downtown. While the Thunder missed their first eleven shots from behind the arc, the Lake Show dropped nine of twelve from behind the arc. While OKC couldn’t even sniff at the free throw line, the Lakers went to the line 13 times and hit nine.

Oh and there was this guy that came out aggressive and made his presence felt early and often!

LeBron James played like he was really upset. 

Here’s a perfect illustration of how the first half went for LeBron James and this is not an over exaggeration…

In the first half alone, LeBron James smoked the Thunder for 23 points on an absurd 9-10 shooting. He hit both of his 3 point shots and was 3-4 from the charity stripe. He added 4 assists and 3 steals to boot. This is a textbook performance that Anthony Davis could study to become the dominant player the Los Angeles Lakers need.

LeBron finished with 33 points (13-20 shooting!), 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. He ended his night just backing poor Tre Mann in the paint and dunking on him.

It was really nice to see Austin Reaves play.

After coming back from a hamstring strain a couple of weeks back, Austin Reaves was placed on a milk carton behind numerous Vogel DNP-CDs (Did not play-coaches’ decision). But in this game, he looked comfortable and played very well within the Lakers offense.

The Thunder wanted to play him for the drive off of the 3 point line, but he took what was given to him and made the adjustments that benefitted him and the Lakers.

Reaves finished with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

The bad from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

Anthony Davis did not play.

Did the Los Angeles Lakers need Anthony Davis to play in this game? No. It’s the Oklahoma City Thunder looking to tank for yet another high first round pick. But Anthony Davis needed Anthony Davis to play in this game. The perception and timing of missing this game was bad.

AD is now under the gun for underperforming and not being the engine to the Lakers championship run. His critics are getting louder and louder with the Memphis loss not making it any easier on him.

Watching the Lakers run OKC out of the building will do nothing to help his cause. It night make things worse based on what might be going on behind the scenes. More on that later.

The story from the Los Angeles Lakers’ win:

Avery Bradley.

Look, everyone knew that LeBron was going to put on a performance like this. The one thing about that guy is that he does not like to look bad and right now he does. He knows he is going to get a heaping helping of blame for this debacle over the first 26 games.

This is all about Avery Bradley who put on a show on both ends of the floor. He led the Lakers with a whopping six 3 pointers on his way to 22 points.

But this is where he really put in the work…ONTHE DEFENSIVE END!

Bradley guarded Shai Gilgeous-Alexander so tight, SGA probably knows what brand of soap and cologne he wears. Avery was all over him. After watching Gilgeous-Alexander dominate the first two games, Bradley made sure he couldn’t breathe.

But even though the Los Angeles Lakers are back above .500 (Like again!), Lake Show Life brings out reality because this is a OKC team that set a NBA record for the worst loss not too long ago.

The Titanic is still sinking and Lakers fans have a choice to either find a lifeboat or listen to the music!

What the music happens to be is the weak excuses, narratives and media talk trying to convince people that this Los Angeles Lakers team is not championship material. This team has been reduced to sound bites practicing patience.

  • In a winless preseason…the narrative was that the preseason doesn’t matter. Oh just wait until the season starts.
  • Then when they lost their first two games…the narrative was to wait until 20-25 games when the team starts to gel.
  • Then when LeBron James was out…the narrative was wait until LeBron James comes back.
  • Then everyone jumped on Anthony Davis’ quote of winning 10 games in a row. 
  • Now we are at…Wait until we get Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza back. Really? 

The beauty of LeBron James is he’ll tell you all you need to know when things are going south and there’s nothing he can do about it. Just look at this quote after the Memphis loss.

"“I had a lot of energy tonight, I tried to translate that into my teammates, but it’s a 48 minute game”"

LeBron is a genius at sending subliminal messages through the media to get certain points across. This is eerily similar to his first season in Los Angeles when they started 2-5 and in his final year in Cleveland when he called the roster top heavy to keep it clean.

The Lakers play the Orlando Magic on  Sunday.