March 29, 2012 – The Oklahoma City Thunder started out slowly against the Los Angeles Lakers in what was a tough road contest but roared back strong in the second half. After starting out down by 12 after one quarter and by seven at the half, Russell Westbrook scored 17 in the third quarter alone and the Thunder pulled ahead to beat the Lakers, 102-93.
“We did a great job in the second half defending. The Lakers are a tough team, especially at home,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook scored 36 points, Durant added 21 and the Thunder left the Staples Center still holding onto the best record in the Western Conference. This sets up a huge game this weekend as the Thunder welcome the team with the Eastern Conference’s best record, the Chicago Bulls, to the Chesapeake Arena.
“We got two tough road wins, one at Portland and one here. Now we can go back home for two big games, so it’s great,” Westbrook said.
While Westbrook was on fire, Kobe Bryant was nowhere to be seen for the Lakers. The Los Angeles superstar finished the game with 23 points, two more than Kevin Durant, but he was invisible in that third quarter while the Thunder roared back to life. However, Bryant was gracious after the game.
“Russell Westbrook established the tempo in the third quarter and he changed the pace of the game for them,” Bryant said. “He’s one of my favorites. He’s developed his outside shot a great deal, and he went to the post a little bit as well so he’s a problem.”
Former Lakers’ star Derek Fisher received two standing ovations in his first visit to Staples Center since leaving the team. He had seven points in 16 minutes off the bench for the Thunder. Fisher has also played for the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz but this was the first time he ever beat the Lakers.
- Click here to see photos from the Thunder vs. Lakers game.
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