The Los Angeles Lakers fell short against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 2. In Paul George’s (Oklahoma City Thunder) first meeting with the Lakers in Los Angeles, he was met with boos from the crowd because he signed with the Thunder over the Lakers this past summer.
Even through adversity, George dropped 37 points in the win. The Lakers were in the game through three quarters. They were playing with energy, shots were falling, and they were fighting for every loose ball. However, they came up completely dry in the fourth quarter only scoring 18 points. Lacking key players due to injury, the Lakers were shorthanded. With Lebron James and Rajon Rondo out, the Lakers were lacking a veteran. James and Rondo are the two leaders of the team. They are known to have very high basketball IQ. In addition, they are very vocal on the court and on the bench.
James has a healing groin strain which occurred during the Lakers game on Christmas Day against the Warriors. James went got up limping when he dove for a loose ball. He was subbed out of the game and tried to stretch his groin out. However, his pain persisted and he left the game. Also, Rondo was injured during the same game. He is suffering from a sprained hand and will be out for 4-5 weeks.
With their key players missing, the Lakers did not have the energy to pull off a big win against the Thunder. This loss, the Lakers dropped to eighth in the western conference. The Lakers then hosted the New York Knicks Jan. 4.
Although it was a game the Lakers should have won, they lost 112-119. Like the game against the Thunder, the Lakers were winning the game through three quarters. However, lacking a scorer, the Lakers came up dry in the fourth only scoring 20 points. The Lakers are in desperate need of getting their leaders back to help the young core focus and close out games.