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Lakers vs. Thunder Preview: Lakers try to fight fire with fire against Durant, Westbrook

Durant and Westbrook are getting a crack at the worst defense in the NBA. This could get ugly in a hurry.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers hit the road for a quick two-game trip that begins in Oklahoma City against Kevin Durant and the Thunder. They'll try to shake off their second 20-plus point loss to the Houston Rockets in three games, but the task of taking on the No. 3 team in the Western Conference won't be an easy one.

Russell Westbrook and Durant are combining to average 52.8 points per game. If you combine the Lakers' current starting lineup (Clarkson, Williams, Bryant, Nance, Jr., Hibbert) they're putting together 57.5 points per game on the season. We'll see if the Thunder's duo outscores the starting lineup, which seems like a distinct possibility barring another first-quarter barrage from Kobe Bryant.

D'Angelo Russell's shooting touch went missing against Houston. His ability to space the floor has been one of the reasons he's looked like a different player in recent games, and the Lakers will need that kind of offensive firepower to keep up with the Thunder. Oklahoma City scores 107.7 points per 100 possessions, second-best in the league, and there's no reason to believe the Lakers' league-worst defense will suddenly put an end to their scoring ways. Instead, the best bet in a game like this is to fight fire with fire.

Enjoy the game like Kobe and Durant enjoyed dinner together the night before.

Time: 2 p.m. PT


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