It was a high-scoring affair between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night in Oklahoma City, but it was OKC that emerged victorious, 122-105.
The first half belonged to the Thunder, and it proved to be the difference in this game.
Oklahoma City scored a sensational 71 points in the first half, as Los Angeles just seemed to be completely unable to stop the reigning Western Conference champs. The Lakers were able to score 55 in the opening half, but that was trumped by what the Thunder were able to do offensively.
In the third quarter, the Lakers began to show some life and cut the deficit in half going into the fourth quarter.
Both teams played a tight fourth quarter for most of it, and the Lakers were able to cut the Thunder lead to six points with about four minutes left to play. Serge Ibaka drained a huge three-pointer to extend the lead back to nine, and that was the beginning of the end for Los Angeles' comeback hopes.
The Lakers shot 40 percent from the field overall and 41 percent from long range. Kobe Bryant led the way with 30 points and left the game momentarily in the first quarter due to injury, but returned in the same quarter. Dwight Howard grabbed 16 boards; however, he could only muster up six points.
The Thunder shot 47 percent from the field and 34 percent from the outside. Russell Westbrook led the way with 37 points, while Kevin Durant added another 26 in the winning effort.
Oklahoma City won the turnover battle handily in this game. The Thunder only surrendered two turnovers while the Lakers compiled 16. It's already tough to beat the Thunder, but the Lakers certainly stacked the deck further by playing some careless basketball throughout.
Player of the Game: OKC PG Russell Westbrook
The Thunder point guard had a great all-around game against the Lakers. Westbrook led all scorers with 37 points, and he finished with a double-double after grabbing 10 boards. He also dished out five assists.
What's Next for Oklahoma City
The Thunder will look to build a winning streak in their next game on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.
What's Next for Los Angeles
After dropping their contest against the Thunder, the Lakers will travel to New Orleans to take on the Hornets in what is a very winnable game for Los Angeles.