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Thunder Tie NBA Record for Fewest Turnovers in a Game vs. Lakers

Mar 5, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Derek Fisher (6) handles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the first half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler ConwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 8, 2017

The Oklahoma City Thunder thrashed the Los Angeles Lakers' dreams of going above .500, defeating the NBA's most-discussed team, 122-105, on Tuesday and did so in the most efficient way in league history.

According to ESPN Stats & Information's Twitter feed, the Thunder's two committed turnovers against Los Angeles ties an NBA record for the least in a single game in league history:

The two-turnover mark has been hit just twice since the 1985-86 season, per Basketball-Reference.com. The Cleveland Cavaliers did it last in 2009—in an overtime contest no less—and the original mark was set by the Milwaukee Bucks back in 2006.

This distinction will only add another insult to a season full of lows for the Lakers. Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times noted that this is the fewest turnovers the Lakers have ever forced in franchise history. Unsurprising considering it is a record and all, but still noteworthy nonetheless—especially with how turnover-prone Oklahoma City is as a team.

The Thunder came into Tuesday night’s contest with the second-worst turnover rate in the league, coughing the ball up 15.8 times per game this season. Among qualified players, Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in most turnovers per contest.   

However, the Oklahoma City stars played like they had Krazy Glue stuck to their fingers versus their Western Conference foes. The Thunder played through the entire first quarter without a turnover before Ronnie Brewer committed one with 11:47 remaining in the second quarter. From there, though, the Thunder were off. Seemingly determined to set the record, they stayed turnover-free all the way until midway through the fourth quarter, when a Westbrook traveling violation put the record out of reach.

Overall, it was an astounding feat of smart play on offense for the Thunder offense and frustrating putridity for the Lakers defense. Something tells me we’ll be hearing far more about the latter than the former in the coming days, though.

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