The Los Angeles Lakers’ second audition for Paul George went no better than the first as they were blown out by the Thunder 114-90 in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Without Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who went down with an achilles tendon strain, the Lakers struggled to get anything going on offense. Julius Randle was the Lakers’ pulse on offense in the first half, scoring all 16 of his points in the first two quarters, but he wasn’t his usual self on the glass, only grabbing one rebound in 23 minutes.
The Lakers as a whole were killed on the boards on Wednesday, with the Thunder out rebounding them 48-27. Steven Adams led the Thunder with 10 rebounds to go along with 21 points.
Carmelo Anthony was also a big problem for the Lakers, scoring 27 points to lead all scorers, a point shy of his season-high. After struggling to settle into a more complimentary role to start the season, Anthony seems to have found his groove with the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook and Paul George combined for 32 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
While it’s hard to win without your starting backcourt, the effort from the Lakers was similar to the effort they showed during their recent nine-game losing streak. Sure, Lonzo Ball is valuable, but no team should be this bad without a 20-year-old rookie.
The Lakers will look to snap their now two-game losing streak Friday back at Staples Center when the Indiana Pacers come to town.