The Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-104 on Thursday night. For the second time this year, LA inexplicably found a way to blow a late double-digit lead to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the rest of his young squad.
Thanks to some standout play from Carmelo Anthony late in the game, despite their poor play, the Lakers had a chance to tie it up and force overtime.
Unfortunately, Russell Westbrook’s ill-advised three-pointer clanked off the rim – ultimately sealing the game for good for LA.
Russell Westbrook’s game-tying three-point attempt; no good. Lakers lose to the Thunder 107-104. pic.twitter.com/eJbqgCv0sS
— Doug Rush ™️ (@TheDougRush) November 5, 2021
After the game, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel admitted that Westbrook’s poor decision-making on that final play cost his squad the game.
Frank Vogel says they wanted to get a better shot at the end of the game than what Russell Westbrook settled for.
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) November 5, 2021
Vogel also added that the “spacing wasn’t great” on the final play.
Westbrook finished with 27 points on 10-of-23 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists on the night, but his four turnovers essentially changed the course of the game. His final one, in particular, came when LA had put together a mini-run and was on the verge of evening up the score late.
When the Lakers acquired Westbrook this summer obviously the move came with a lot of fanfare. That said, so far his fights with not one, but two fans off the court have been far more notable than his contributions on it.
Now that’s a Halloween costume. https://t.co/WVK6W11K9M
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2021
There’s a reason Anthony was so blunt about his assessment of the Lakers right now. Frustrations are growing. Nobody expects this team to be a world-beater without James in the lineup, but it should be better than what it was on Thursday night.
Obviously it’s still early. If LA ultimately gets it together and Westbrook finds his rhythm nobody will remember this poor start. If they don’t, however – don’t be surprised if the Westbrook acquisition eventually ends up in the same trash bin of Lakers history as the Dwight Howard and Steve Nash ones.
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