Russell Westbrook shot just 3-20 from the field but recorded 16 rebounds and 10 assists with 14 points in another triple double, and the Thunder beat the LA Lakers in LA. The Lakers were without LeBron James again on Wednesday, and the injury woes continued in the first half when Kyle Kuzma left the game with an injured lower back.
With the road victory, the Thunder move to 24-13 on the year. Steven Adams had a productive stat line with 14 points and 15 rebounds. Paul George adds another MVP caliber performance to his solid season, dropping 37 points on 15 of 29 shooting. Despite George’s efficient shooting, OKC struggled shooting as a team, only shooting 38% from the field and 22% from 3pt.
Oklahoma City has struggled with three point shooting all season, and have to be considering moving some tradable assets in exchange for a shooter. Shooting guard Terrance Ferguson has been an underwhelming shooter, with his season average trending below his career average. 2nd year player Ralph Nader has been the teams most reliable shooter, yet he only averages about 7 minutes per game due to the liability he is on the defensive side. The only issue with trade for the Thunder would be the lack of depth, but these two young players would likely be on the trading block if the Thunder were to attempt to make a move.
The Lakers have struggled without LeBron. Since going without LeBron, the Lakers are just 1-3 in their last 4 games. Kyle Kuzma was not able to play the second half, and the young core of the Lakers were unable to fend off OKC. Lonzo Ball had one of his worst games all season with just 3 points with 7 assists. Brandon Ingram didn’t produce enough in the absence of LeBron and Kuzma with just 17 points. The Lakers will go again on Friday against the Knicks, and will likely be without LeBron again.