Kevin Durant Gives L.A. Lakers Hope For Playoffs
The Oklahoma City Thunder had a great opportunity to keep the Los Angeles Lakers in their season long slump and make yet another statement to one of the NBA’s most storied franchises. The Thunder have owned the Lakers all season and had won nine out of its last eleven games against them coming into yesterday’s matchup. However, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shot a combined 16-48 from the field and the Lakers stunned the Thunder by a score of 105-96 to gain some momentum as they look to creep back into the Western Conference Playoff race.
Westbrook had a dismal shooting performance shooting a horrid 6-22 from the field and also received a technical foul.
Still it was Durant who needed to take over for Westbrook who struggled for basically the entire game. Instead, Durant seemed to almost defer and try to get his fellow teammate in a rhythm. Durant needed to recognize that Westbrook was having an off night and take control of the team offensively.
The Lakers’ victory was their second in a row and it can be argued that this win for the Lakers is the most important victory that they have recorded all season because of how much confidence it can give them. With games coming up against the New Orleans Hornets, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons the Lakers can conceivably go on a six-game winning streak and start approaching the .500 mark. If the Lakers can find a way to gain some momentum and qualify for the playoffs, they will most likely have to play the Thunder or the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, who are battling for the conference’s best record. The Thunder and Durant do not want to give the Lakers its signature win to propel them into the playoffs, especially if they would have the opportunity to knock the Thunder out .
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo