Lakers Thunder Preview: Close Out Road Trip Win Second Back-To-Back
The Lakers face the Thunder in the final game of their road trip, with injuries and a young, talented opponent to overcome.
The Los Angeles Lakers are set to wrap up their four-game road trip with a matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday afternoon. However, the game comes with the challenge of being on the second night of a back-to-back against a young and competitive Thunder team.
The Lakers are currently 2-1 on the road trip and are looking to secure a strong win to conclude their travels. They are coming off a convincing victory over the Detroit Pistons, who are currently on a 15-game losing streak, with a final score of 133-107.
On the other hand, the Thunder are on a two-game losing streak, having recently lost to the Philadelphia 76ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers can expect a determined Thunder team looking to bounce back, as they currently hold an 11-6 record, with a 5-4 record at home, making them a formidable opponent.
Injuries have plagued the Lakers, with several players listed as questionable for the upcoming game. However, LeBron James and Max Christie are set to play, providing much-needed support for the team. Unfortunately, Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Gabe Vincent remain sidelined due to injuries.
Anthony Davis is listed as probable as he continues to play through his left adductor injury. The Lakers will need all the firepower they can get to face off against a talented Thunder team led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, and Jalen Williams.
The Thunder's offensive prowess, averaging 118.6 points per game, presents a significant challenge for the Lakers. Additionally, their sharpshooters and defensive-minded players make them a well-rounded team, especially from beyond the arc where they lead the league in 3-point shooting at 40.3%.
Head coach Darvin Ham will need to devise a strategic game plan to counter the Thunder's offensive threats, particularly Gilgeous-Alexander. The Lakers will need to stay focused and disciplined to secure a win against such a formidable opponent.
Key reserves for the Lakers include Austin Reaves, Christian Wood, and Jalen Hood-Schifino, while the Thunder's key reserves are Isaiah Joe, Cason Wallace, Kenrich Williams, and Aaron Wiggins.
The Lakers will need to bring their A-game to close out the road trip with a victory against the Thunder, making it an impressive feat.