NBA News Wire
Thunder 104, Lakers 103
LOS ANGELES — Point guard Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 104-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night at Staples Center.
Guard Reggie Jackson came off the bench to score 25 points as the Thunder (13-14) won for the eighth time in nine contests. The Lakers (8-18) dropped their second in a row.
Forward Ed Davis led six Lakers in double figures with 18 points and nine rebounds, while forward Carlos Boozer finished with 14 points. Kobe Bryant had nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Bryant, though, missed a game-winning jumper shortly before the final horn went off.
Oklahoma City prevailed despite playing without reigning MVP Kevin Durant, who suffered a right ankle sprain in the Thunder’s defeat Thursday night by the Golden State Warriors. Durant is listed as day-to-day.
A jumper by forward Serve Ibaka, who had 16 points, gave the Thunder a 100-99 lead with 2:14 remaining. However Boozer’s layup put the Lakers back up 101-100 with 2:01 left.
Two free throws by Jackson gave Oklahoma City a 102-101 lead with 1:05 remaining and the Thunder never trailed again. Bryant missed a jumper with 55.9 seconds left before Westbrook converted on the other end for a three-point Thunder lead with 38.2 seconds remaining.
Guard Jeremy Lin, who had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists, scored to cut the deficit to one before the Lakers got the ball back after a Westbrook miss. However, Bryant missed the game-winner.
The Lakers led for much of the first half, at one point by as much as 11, before the Thunder grabbed a 52-50 lead at the break. Westbrook (21 points) and Jackson (12) combined for 33 of the team’s output.
The Thunder increased the margin to 82-73 after reserve guard Anthony Morrow hit a 3-point bucket to end the third quarter.
Lakers point guard Ronnie Price scored a season-high 14 points, all in the first half.
Los Angeles reserve guard Nick Young, who scored 11 points, was ejected after being accessed a flagrant-2 foul with 11:24 remaining after he threw an elbow to the throat of Oklahoma City center Steven Adams.
Oklahoma City also played without backup center Kendrick Perkins, who missed the contest with a left knee contusion.
NOTES: Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the club decided Friday morning to hold injured F Kevin Durant out of the game. “It’s going to be day by day; don’t know how long it’s going to be,” Brooks said regarding Durant’s return. “The good thing about it (was) the X-rays came back negative. (He) woke up a little sore today (but) we’ll see how he feels before the next game.” … Lakers F Jordan Hill, who is suffering from an upper respiratory infection, was a game-time decision, but started. … Lakers coach Byron Scott said the Thunder, despite Thursday night’s loss at Golden State, are the hottest team in the league, but added that the Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies are the best right now. … Oklahoma City opens a two-game homestand Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans. … Los Angeles visits the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.
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