Los Angeles Lakers striker LeBron James, left, passes Oklahoma City Thunder forward Isaiah Roby (22) in the first half of Wednesday’s basketball game in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
We just have a bunker mentality on the road – just us, James said. But of course it’s even more so because of the restrictions, the VIDOCs, and everything else going on. That’s how we got even closer.
Montrezl Harrell added 21 points and Anthony Davis had 18 points and seven rebounds. The reigning champions, the Lakers have won four straight NBA games – a record of 10-3. They defeated the 1985-86 team 7-0.
But the road is different this season – most arenas are empty.
It’s a matter of execution and level of concentration, James said. Sometimes you have to be able to build up your own energy. Like tonight, we go out back-to-back, three out of four nights. To go to Houston last night, get to OKC late and go into the arena without fans, you have to draw your own energy from your band, from yourself.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 17 points to lead Oklahoma City.
The Lakers led by as many as 24 points in the second quarter before the Thunder cut the score to 58-46 at halftime. James scored 15 points at halftime.
James hit a 3-point shot with Thunder’s defensive back Lu Dort in the face, then made a 3-pointer and was fouled by Isaiah Roby on the next possession. A free throw gave the Lakers a 74-50 lead. On the Lakers’ next possession, James scored a layup that gave him nine points with 66 seconds left. James made 4 of 6 pitches and scored 11 runs in the third quarter to help the Lakers take a 93-71 lead.
The Lakers led by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter. Thunder never led.
It’s one of 72 games and anything is possible, Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. These are all competitive opportunities, they are learning opportunities, and we just have to take advantage of every experience to keep growing and moving forward.
Lakers: James extended his series by at least 10 points to reach 1,008. …Harrell is called for a technical foul in the third quarter. … Markieff Morris scored 11 points and Kentavian Caldwell-Pope added 10 points.
Thunder: C.L. Horford paused as this was the second piece in a series of two. …Roby had his second start of the season at Horford’s place, with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists. …G Hamidou Diallo shot just over half from the field to finish the third quarter. … Rookie F Alex Pokusevski scored 10 points, equaling his best score of the season.
Former Thunder Dennis Schroder scored 14 points for the Lakers. Last season, he averaged 18.9 points per game and helped Oklahoma City reach the playoffs.
James looks to the stands after a shot in the third quarter:
I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. There was actually someone, but I wasn’t really looking for anyone. I mean, I imagine there will be fans in the building again someday. It was great to see the fans in Houston.
Diallo, who averaged 21.3 points in Oklahoma City’s last three games, finished with nine points on four of six shots in 20 minutes.
Lakers: The New Orleans host on Friday night.
Thunder: Chicago host and former Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan on Friday night.
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