The Los Angeles Lakers dropped their third and final matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder 119-103 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday, giving the Thunder the regular season series.
The Lakers kept things close for most of the game, but the Thunder’s superstar tandem of Russell Westbrook and Paul George helped Oklahoma City pull away in the third quarter. Westbrook, the league’s leader in triple-doubles, ended the night with 20 points, 21 assists, 20 rebounds and two steal for his 30th triple-double this season. Nikola Jokic has the second-most in the NBA with 12.
More impressively, Westbrook was the first player to ever post at least 20 points, 20 assists and 20 rebounds in a single game since Wilt Chamberlain did so in 1968.
George was second for the Thunder in the scoring department, scoring 19 points on 8-17 shooting from the field to go along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a game-high 5 steals. Thanks a lot, Corey Brewer.
Meanwhile, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Lakers in scoring with a game-high 23 points on 9-16 shooting from the field, including 5-10 shooting from behind the arc. Over his last 10 games, he’s shooting 39 percent from 3-point range on 8.2 attempts per game. Contract Month Kenny is the best Kenny, so it seems.
As a whole, the Lakers shot pretty well from the field (48.1 percent) and the 3-point line (40.5 percent), but they couldn’t get it done on the opposite end of the floor and Rajon Rondo was a big reason for their lack of success on defense. He ended the night with a team-low -25 box plus-minus in spite of putting up a respectable 7 points, 9 assists and 10 rebounds. Unfortunately, this isn’t a new trend for Rondo.
Last month, the 33-year-old point guard posted a team-worst -4.2 box plus-minus and allowed a team-high 114.3 points per 100 possessions. Rondo might still have some value on offense, but it’s not enough to make up for his shortcomings on defense.
With a loss on Tuesday, the Lakers moved back down to the 11th-worst record in the NBA. They’ll likely improve their lottery odds even further when they play the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on Thursday.
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