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Lakers vs Oklahoma City: Lakers in a funk, lose fifth straight game

Lakers2_600 Thunder 120, Lakers 106 (final)

For the most part, the Lakers played hard against the Thunder.

For the most part, the Lakers played with a sense of urgency against the Thunder.

And still it did no good.

The Lakers lost their fifth consecutive game, a season high. They have two regular-sesaon games left, more than enough time for them to match their longest losing streak since 2007, when they lost seven straight from March 2-15.

It seems clear that the Lakers are now in a funk, a team going in the wrong direction, a team looking nothing like the club that went 17-1 after the All-Star break.

It means that the Lakers are losing hold of the second-best record in the Western Conference, which would guarantee them home-court advantage in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The Lakers and Dallas Mavericks now are tied at 55-25, with the Thunder one game back, but L.A. holds the tiebreaker over both clubs after winning each season series, 2-1.

Kobe Bryant scored 31 points for the Lakers, but it wasn't enough.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 31 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

RELATED:

Lakers-Thunder box score

Lakers-Thunder photos

Lakers 90, Thunder 88 (end of third quarter)

The Lakers finally started to play harder in the third quarter -- but not until they trailed by eight points early in the quarter.

As a result, the Lakers were able to take a two-point lead heading into the fouth quarter.

The Lakers held the Thunder to 24 points in the third.

This was significant because the Lakers allowed Oklahoma City to score 36 points in the first and 30 points in the second quarters.

Ron Artest gave the Lakers a lift by scoring six points during the quarter.

Thunder 66, Lakers 64 (end of first half)

When the Lakers fell behind by 12 points for the second time in the first half, they seemed to need some kind of spark.

It came after Kobe Bryant and Thunder center Kendrick Perkins were each assessed a technical foul for pushing and shoving each other.

Even when the officials stepped between Bryant and Perkins, they continued to glare at each other.

The Lakers weren't done going after Perkins, who had disparaging remarks aimed at Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson in a recent interview.

After Bryant had scored yet again in the second quarter, Andrew Bynum grabbed the ball out of the net and threw it into the stomach of Perkins.

Bynum also was given a technical foul.

But with Bryant scoring 22 first-half points and Gasol adding 18, the Lakers pulled to within two points by halftime. Andrew Bynum has 10 points and five rebounds.

Russell Westbrook leads the Thunder with 18 points, five assists and five rebounds. Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, has 15 points on six-of-nine shooting.

Thunder 36, Lakers 31 (end of first quarter)

The Lakers couldn't slow down the two-man show of Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and forward Kevin Durant in the first quarter tonight at Staples Center.

Then again, the Lakers seemed to have problems stopping anybody on the Thunder. Oklahoma City shot 63.6% from the field in the first quarter.

Westbrook drove by the Lakers and shot over them in scoring 16 points on five-of-eight shooting in the first. Westbrook made both of his three-pointers as well.

Durant scored 11 points in the opening quarter.

The Lakers stayed close because Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol each scored 11 points in the first quarter.

Pregame

Before the Lakers played the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night at Staples Center, Coach Phil Jackson was asked if his team's abundance of turnovers during their current four-game losing streak is a concern.

The Lakers have turned the ball over 73 times during this stretch.

Jackson, however, had other reasons for his team's shortcomings.

"Turnovers are the sign. They are not the reason," Jackson said. "The reason is a lack of urgency. And because it's a lack of urgency, there is not a whole lot of crispness and whole lot of execution in what we're doing and a lot of urgency about our defense."

Jackson was hopeful that the Lakers would find that sense of urgency against the Thunder.

Jackson was asked if the Lakers will regain that sense of urgency before the playoffs start this weekend.

"I don't know if they're going to do it or not," Jackson said. "I mean, yes, I'm encouraging them. Very much so. Yes, it's nice to do it."

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Lakers guard Derek Fisher steals the ball from Thunder guard Russell Westbrook in the second quarter Sunday night at the Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (43)

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Time will tell if this lack of urgency is going to come back and bite the Lakers. No doubt there good, but no doubt there there are young improving teams out there who are going to bring there best game. With a strike looming and a big chance that next season will be canceled this is Kobe and companys last hurrah. Kobe is looking more and more selfish. If he wants to be a hero in the playoffs and does not get the ball inside the lakers will go nowhere.

the lakers are becoming a little bored. it's not like they didn't beat the spurs by 25+ points and not as if they couldn't beat the bulls. MIA has to get out of the East first and BOS has been different... from last year.

I'm sure the Lakers will be back just in time for the final stretch.

I would love to see this match-up in the later rounds of the playoffs. We would get to see if Durant has "it" in the playoffs.

Putrid is this the same mighty Septic team that got smacked by the heat earlier today?

Certainly not what I want, but off of today's games it looks like the Finals could be:

Miami Carpetbaggers vs. Oklahoma City Team-That-Was-Stolen-From-Seattle

Ugh.

Oh well, I'll get a lot of yardwork done in May and June.

Go Celtics??

Last I heard they lost by 23 today Putrey.

Have fun watching the Miami Carpetbaggers vs. the Oklahoma City Team-That-Was-Stolen-From-Seattle in the NBA Finals. I'll pass.

Now there's a modern matchup that will make Napoleon Bonaparte Stern happy.

9 turnovers in the last quarter, not good. Maybe this is the wakeup call this team needs. As I've posted before, this is a team of streaks. This 5 game losing streak, while painful to watch, could easily be followed by a winning streak. 17-1, not likely, but 16 and 14 is all we need. I for one still believe this is the team that will be hoisting the hardware at the end. Go Lakers!!!!!

Hey Putrey, how's remedial English going?

Desertlaker, thanks for your intelligent comment. It's always nice to see that. I'd like to have the same faith as you.

Lakers are officially collapsing. Kobe is going to retire after the Lakers get swept in the first round by Portland (cuz they're gonna lose the 2 seed). PJ retires, Bynum gets injured again.

At least Pau and LO will carry the Lakers to a .400 record next year.

Yep, like I said, Desertlaker, your post sure beats some of the monosyllabic, repetitive schoolyard silliness from some of the trolls around here.

As a longtime laker fan I'll have to say that they are in some serious trouble. I will be very surprised if they are able to pull off the cherished "threepeat". The chemistry seems to be missing for most of this year. They still have the talent but talent is not all that is required to win an NBA championship. Younger, hungrier, teams will give the Lakers all they can handle. I'm afraid they will be on that fishing boat early on if they don't get it together.

Shawn they are also older and have played more games collectively in the past few years than anyone else in the NBA. Add in the international games Kobe, Pau, and Lamar have played and you can really see the toll the past few years have taken.

It's very difficult if not impossible to get to the NBA Finals three times in a row.

What was the last team that did it? Can anyone figure that out without looking at online resources?

"d" you are a complete moron. Anyone with a brain can tell you when the last threepeat was. 2000-2002, LA Lakers, durrr

Not the question Putrey, or whoever you are.

I asked who the last team was to play in four straight Finals series was.

Pay attention.

Also it's hardly impossible. in fact reaching the Finals three times in a row is so common that it happens all the time.

00, 01, 02- Lakers
96, 97, 98-Bulls
91, 92, 93-Bulls
88, 89, 90-Pistons
87, 88, 89-Lakers
84, 85, 86-Boston
82, 83, 84, 85-Lakers
68, 69,70-Lakers
1957-1965-Boston

"It's very difficult if not impossible to get to the NBA Finals three times in a row.

What was the last team that did it? Can anyone figure that out without looking at online resources?"

No, you in fact did NOT say four times in a row. Everyone can read, nice try.

Btw it was the Boston Celtics 1984, 85, 86, 87.

Sorry for the typo, meant to say four. A lot of teams have been in three straight in the past 20 years or so, but not four.

Typo? yeah it's real easy to get three and four mixed up, what with the keys being on opposite sides of the keyboard and all

The Lakers will win the championship this year so stop worrying every body out there I got money on it who wants to bet?

4th seed - if DAL/OKC win out. No way the LaCkers can beat SAS the way they are. Will go down as one of the most stunning collapses in sports history. Get used to it LaCkers will be lacking until Kobe retires or his contract expires and for 2-3 years beyond that. As an older fan I doubt I will ever see another LaCker championship. Hope I don't because these clowns don't deserve it. Buss should refund all ticket prices for home games in this streak.

I don't see us getting to the finals this year. Good night everyone.

LO may have loss his 6th man award with this performance. At least he has a corny tv show on tonight. 7 points and 3 rebounds? No one is afraid of la anymore due to la lack of discipline. I like how gasol was acting tough tonight. He let perkins get inside his head.

Hey Priest, thanks for giving me a pass tonight with your critique. You are right LO sucks eggs. Did you see that set up pass to Bynum in the 4th? As the leader of the LA blog I always read your opinion because you always have great insight.

Lakers went to the finals 4 years in a row in the 80's.
82
83
84
85

This current Lakers team is going for it's 4th straight finals appearance.

Did not see the game in Europe but just saw the box score and it told me all I needed to know. Gasol and Odom 7 rebounds between them and Brown 3 points. Let's see no board work, no help on offense and no defense. Yeah I say we should have lost and we did. This playoffs will swing on the Lakers bench play and we should all be afraid of that.

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE THE FUTURE IS NOW! and that roar? its THUNDER

One other thing Priest you remember my interview the other day? I said I can't stand kiss asses and you always are a straight shooter. I know I shoot too much sometimes but I always think that it gives a chance to win the game. Anyways no need to panic guys no one can beat me in June.

Lakers management should have hung on to their younger talent of Farmar And Vujacic because at least these guys can shoot. Why did they ever resign Shannon Anderson? He takes too long to dribble and takes the worst shots I have every seen. He belongs in the D-League. The reason why this team is in a funk is because the starting unit used every bit of their energy to go 17-1 after the all star break and some of the games weren't pretty. When the Lakers blew out the Spurs, they had call back their starters to ensure that they would keep lead in double digits because the bench wasn't getting the job done. After this losing streak, I believe the Lakers are definitely in deep trouble. They may not even get out of first round, because I have a feeling that they will drop the next two games and wind up finishing 4th . They won't fare well against Nuggets. I hope I am wrong about this, because if I am not, The Lakers will on the earliest vacation in years. If anyone this team will be alright when the playoffs start, then they are in denial. Wake up Mitch and stop signing old has beens. Management needs to sign some younger legs.

d, I hear what you are saying. The Lakers have been hugely successful and it is my hope they are not done. The team chemestry is a bit of a question mark as they have shown great chemestry at times (beginning of year and post ASB) and have shown a lack thereof (heading into the ASB and the last 5). Is it just me or have we heard this tune before? Just last year the Lakers erratic play had almost all the faithful pulling their hair out and most pundits writing them off! And we all know how that turned out. I still believe that when this team is motivated, and playing up to their potential they are better than last year and Las Vegas agrees, they are still the team to beat. If you think otherwise, Vegas will happily take your bet. 18 more wins would be nice, but 16 is all we need. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ummm Kobe thanks for your endorsement. I just want you to be a better team player and be the best that you can be.

Disgusted you are on point. But la have some good rookies the zen master refuses to use. Caracter and ebanks. Look how pop uses his rookies and turn out to be solid. but signing joe smith and ratliff was dumb. They should have kept farmar and put him in the starting lineup and bring fisher off the bench.

5 losses in a row. Can't wait to see Gerald Wallace kick to crap out of Ron-Ron.

They should get Dana White involved so the whole world can watch Ron get his grill smushed by GW.

How you guys liking Steve Blake? I guess he has been told he can only shoot 4 shots a game.

Not much a guy can do with 4 shots a night.

Anybody else find these trolls that show up when the Lakers lose a few and then run off and hide when they win pathetic like I do?

Lakers have no pride. They get paid like anybody with a job to perform to the best of their ability. If they phone it in and coast until the playoffs they are lousy and lazy. If jackson was honest- he's just rest his starters 'till the playoffs- but don't insult the real fans by putting on this deplorable debacle of disasters. Duh!!!
LOSING!!!

Hey Victor. I am a 40 year Laker fan and season ticket holder for 20 years. I know the game. When you have the lowest rated point guard, the worst offense small forward and the worst bench in 5 years you will not win.

I will take your bet for any amount you choose. You don't win without home court in 3 series. Name your amount. You are covered. I live in Newport Beach and I am a attorney so I will write the agreement.

Lou, the trolls are for amusement purposes only. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lakers rolled over like little bitches.

Gave up 120 -- 120! -- at Staples in a crucial game.

This f***ing team is looking more and more like the 2008 team that turned belly up in that shameful, humiliating game 6. These guys just don't care. F-em.

Perkins was right. Except the ENTIRE team is soft.

Now, delete this comment like a good monkey because it's not party line.

Lakers will bounce back!
They always do.
I just hope my thunder can make
A deep run in the playoffs.

No pride, no drive, no guts, no grit, no title.

Kobe and Fish are going to have to be happy with five.

They don't deserve entry to the Six Timers Club.

It was a swell run.

Everytime the Lakers lost a game, Kobe would blame his team's poor defense. I've yet to hear him blaming his costly turnovers during the critical stages of the games they lost. Common Kobe, wake up.

LAKERS WILL LOSE THEIR FINAL 2 GAMES .THEY HAVE NOTHING TO PLAY FOR.
IF THEY MEET THE OKLAHAMA CITY THUNDER IN THE PLAYOFFS.
THEY WILL NOT BEAT THE THUNDER,TAKE IT TO THE BANK. WORD.

TRIPLE 777


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