9:30 PM ET, March 13, 2014
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Lakers caught the Thunder by surprise Sunday.
Los Angeles had no such luck in the rematch. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant scored 29 points apiece, and Oklahoma City avenged Sunday's surprising loss to the Lakers by rolling past them 131-102 on Thursday night.
Lakers guard Jodie Meeks, who scored a career-high 42 points Sunday, was held to 19 on 6-for-15 shooting. Westbrook said the Thunder didn't pay extra attention to Meeks.
Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty Images
Kevin Durant and the Thunder now are within half a game of San Antonio for the top record in the Western Conference.
"We just did what we did," Westbrook said. "He just happened to get lucky the first time. We ain't worried about what Jodie Meeks does. We're just worried about playing Thunder defense."
Westbrook shot poorly against the Lakers on Sunday, but he made 9 of 17 shots and had nine assists in 23 minutes in the rematch. He has become more focused on passing and has been more efficient since his return from knee surgery.
"It's real fun, especially when we win," he said. "As long as we continue to do a good job of playing together and everybody gets in a good groove, I think we'll be all right."
Serge Ibaka added 15 points, 13 rebounds and a season-high seven blocks for the Thunder, who won their second straight and climbed within half a game of San Antonio for the top record in the Western Conference.
"We knew they were going to be ready, especially here at home," Lakers center Pau Gasol said. "They're playing for trying to get the best record in the league; we're not. Their situation is just a tiny bit different than ours. "
Kent Bazemore scored 16 points and Gasol added 14 for the Lakers. Los Angeles allowed at least 131 points for the fourth time in five games.
"I didn't think we were focused coming out like we were Sunday, and you can't do that against this team," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We can't lose them in transition two or three times. They're a good offensive team, so if you give them extra points, then you are going to get beat."
The Lakers trimmed an 18-point deficit to 11 in the second quarter before Westbrook returned from a brief rest to ignite a 13-1 run that gave the Thunder a 52-29 lead.
Oklahoma City led 60-46 at halftime. Westbrook had 14 points and six assists in 15 minutes, and Durant had 13 points. The Thunder outrebounded the Lakers 33-16 in the first half and held them to 37 percent shooting.
Durant, who rarely gets into foul trouble, picked up his fourth with 10:16 left in the third quarter. Ryan Kelly hit a 3-pointer with 7:30 left in the period to cut Oklahoma City's lead to 69-58, causing the Thunder to call a timeout. Oklahoma City's Caron Butler hit a 3-pointer right out of the short break and Ibaka followed with a midrange jumper to boost the advantage to 16 points. Westbrook drained a 3-pointer to push Oklahoma City's lead to 23 midway through the quarter, and he wore a broad smile as the Lakers called timeout. By the time Durant re-entered the game, Oklahoma City led 90-68.
"When the game was kind of getting out of whack, I just felt like it was the right time to pass the ball, rebound or score, or whatever it took to get us over the hump and keep us rolling," Westbrook said.
In the final seconds of the third quarter, Ibaka swatted a shot by Xavier Henry and the Thunder rebounded. Butler hit a 3-pointer in the final second of the period to push Oklahoma City's lead to 101-77.
"I think it's hard to play the same team twice back to back so that was a little difficult, but it is what it is," Gasol said. "We can't make any excuses and we have to deal with it."
Thunder G Andre Roberson, who has spent much of the season in the D-League, got his fifth start. ... Westbrook scored nine points in the first four minutes, including a dunk to start the game. ... The Thunder shot 57 percent in the first quarter and led 33-19 at the end of the period. The Lakers shot just 31 percent in the first 12 minutes. ... Butler had 11 points and six rebounds on his 34th birthday. ... Durant was issued a technical foul with 23 seconds left in the first half.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MARCH 13: Jeremy Lamb #11 Hasheem Thabeet #34 and Caron Butler #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder...(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: I don't suppose we can put the "OKC is better without Westbrook" rhetoric to bed now, can we? Probably not. Regardless, Westbrook was incredible, scoring 29 points and dishing out nine assists.
X factor: The Lakers shot 39 percent from the field overall but were a respectable 48 percent from behind the arc. The difference? Serge Ibaka, who made shots around the rim a chore for L.A. Ibaka finished with seven blocks, but he altered quite a few more.
That was ... streaky: Kevin Durant's streak of games with at least 25 points looked to be in jeopardy in the third quarter. But he scored OKC's first eight points of the fourth quarter en route to 29, keeping his streak alive at 30.
Next 5 Games
Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson - well, they might have a point. In 11 seasons with the Lakers, Phil Jackson guided the team to 7 NBA Finals appearances and 5 titles. The Lakers are currently in the midst of their 4th season without Jackson (2004-05 and the last 3) since he made his debut in Los Angeles - and the team has posted a .483 win percentage en route to winning just 5 playoff games.[+]
Lakers With and Without Phil Jackson - Since Jackson's 1st Season With Team (1999-00)
By season's end, Bryant will have missed 76 games - the most in his illustrious career by a wide margin. Bryant's last playoff game came on May 21, 2012 (missed last postseason due to Achilles injury). If the Lakers rebound and make the playoffs next season, it will be almost 3 full years since he played a postseason game.[+]
Most Games Missed in Single Season - Kobe Bryant NBA Career
The Lakers are in the midst of their worst season since the team moved to Los Angeles back in 1960.[+]
Worst Win Pct in Lakers Franchise History
ESPN Stats & Information
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