The Los Angeles Lakers kept pace with the Oklahoma City Thunder through most of their third meet of the season but couldn't outlast them in a 117-113 loss. Lou Williams was unstoppable in the fourth quarter, pouring in 23 points in the final frame and leading the charge in what turned into another down-to-the-wire game. Kobe Bryant had a chance with the game on the line but couldn't convert over Kevin Durant, and the lights went out for the Lakers.
D'Angelo Russell tried to play on his ankle less than 24 hours after suffering what's been called a moderate sprain but subbed out after just eight minutes on the floor. Russell Westbrook was like a flash of lightning as he struck the Lakers' interior defense, ending the night with 36 points, a game-high 12 rebounds and seven assists. Kevin Durant had an efficient night, making 10 of his 15 attempts for 24 points.
Williams scored a career-high 44 points (also a Lakers season-high), hitting five of his 14 three-point attempts and all 15 of his free-throws. The referees got a workout from blowing their whistles all night while Williams caught the Thunder in the air for shooting fouls repeatedly. Lou's late-game effort helped give the Lakers the lead, but they couldnt' capitalize on what will certainly be a memorable night in his career.
Kobe had a solid all-around game, scoring 19 points with six assists and four rebounds in his first game in Staples Center since Christmas Day. It was another good fight, but once again without a win attached. The Lakers are off Saturday and host the Utah Jazz Sunday.