The Los Angeles Lakers have done it again.
Just as they did a week ago, the Lakers gave up a huge lead to the Oklahoma City Thunder, this time at home.
The win was just the second of the season for the Thunder, both of which have occured against the Lakers who continue their inconsistent play to start the season.
The bad news began earlier in the day, with LeBron James ruled out for 1-2 weeks with an abdominal strain. During the loss to Oklahoma City, Anthony Davis sustained a thumb injury just before halftime but he was able to remain in the game for the second half.
Davis explained that the injury was sustained by jamming his thumb against Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s thumb resulting in swelling that restricted movement.
“I’m fine,” Davis said postgame, before saying, “we’ll see how it feels,” when it comes to his availability for Saturday’s matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers are now 5-4 on the season and 1-2 with James out of the lineup.
It was a disastrous final few minutes for Russell Westbrook, with the Lakers guard missing a potential game-tying triple at the buzzer to go along with an unforced turnover and an unexplainable defensive lapse on a critical late possession.
Assigned to Lu Dort with under 20 seconds remaining, Westbrook completely lost track of where his opponent was, leaving the OKC Thunder forward all on his own for a crucial dunk that extended the lead to 105-101 with 17.0 seconds to play.
Postgame, Westbrook didn’t appear impressed by a question regarding his late game execution.
“You seen it. I lost the ball. Missed the three,” Westbrook answered before ending his media availability.
In losing to the Thunder twice in a week, the Lakers have given up 26 and 19-point leads, with veteran forward Carmelo Anthony refusing to use any excuse with LeBron out of the lineup.
“We shouldn’t have lost this one. It ain’t come down to LeBron being out,” Anthony said.
“They knew what we were doing the entire second half,” Davis explained. “Their coach or Shai or whoever it was made an adjustment to put their players in the right spot.”
For a team with championship goals like the Lakers, failing to execute against a Thunder team expected to be in the running for the worst record in the league is concerning.
With or without LeBron.