The Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night, and while the road team made it extremely interesting late, they couldn't muster a comeback and pull out the victory.
Coming into this matchup, the Lakers had lost two of their last three, while the Thunder were riding a six-game winning streak. OKC came out in this one and looked like the more aggressive team, and while the first quarter was closely contested, the second period proved to be the turning point.
The Thunder were far more efficient than their opponents, outscoring Los Angeles 41-26 in the second quarter alone. In the first half, they shot 54.3 percent from the field, converted 72.7 percent of their shots from behind the arc and had 26 points in fast-break situations.
An unfortunate theme for the Lakers was not getting back on defense. Oklahoma City was willing to get out and run, and excelled in making long-distance passes that led to easy baskets.
The Lakers teased their fans about half way through the third quarter with a few key stops and consecutive buckets, but the will of Kobe Bryant wasn't enough to turn momentum in their favor.
L.A.'s fourth-quarter struggles have been the talk of the NBA world as of late, but this time we saw a late-game performance that sparked a comeback instead of allowing one.
Unfortunately for the struggling Lakers, it proved to be too little, too late, as the Thunder took this one 114-108.