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Lakers vs. Thunder Preview: Lakers look for redemption from 40-point loss

The Lakers will try to avoid another blowout in a home contest with the talented Thunder.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a thrilling 111-107 come-from-behind victory over the Denver Nuggets and now get a chance to wash a bitter taste out of their mouth. The Lakers return to Los Angeles to take on the Thunder in a back-to-back contest. Kobe Bryant will look to continue his marvelous play after missing LA's previous showdown with Kevin Durant and company.

Bryant is averaging 25 points, five assists and and 5.25 rebounds per game in his last four contests. The aging superstar is once again resembling an NBA player and the Lakers are taking full advantage of it. Bryant is still shooting just 34 percent from the field, but his play has definitely been improving.

Jordan Clarkson is experiencing a minor dip in his numbers during December. Clarkson is averaging 13.7 points per game on 44 percent shooting after posting 15 points per game on 46 percent shooting in November.

D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle continue to play well despite being benched. Russell has exploded for several career performances off the bench and is averaging 14 points per game in December, albeit on 39 percent shooting. Randle is averaging a double-double in the month with 11.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, but has struggled at times to put the ball in the basket.

The Lakers will have their hands full going against two of the most explosive players in the league in Durant and Russell Westbrook. The former league MVP is putting up 26.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game and torched the Lakers last time with 22 points, making light work of the defense. Westbrook is having a solid year himself with 25.4 points, 9.4 assists and 6.8 rebounds per game and put up 13 points and 11 assists in the last meeting.

The Lakers will have to not only contain Durant and Westbrook defensively, but also score in bunches to prevent another embarrassing blowout.

Time: 7:30 p.m. PT


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