Russell Westbrook only needs one pitch to keep Paul George in OKC

Ruben Hill
January 12, 2018

The Los Angeles Lakers (11-25) will host the Oklahoma City Thunder (20-17) at the Staples Center on Wednesday evening (Thursday AEDT).

Their three-headed monster of Paul George (24 points), Carmelo Anthony (21 points) and Russell Westbrook (20 points, 12 assists) hit tough shots when the Lakers were locked in defensively and accepted easy buckets when L.A. tuned out. But it's a lot closer than the Lakers, and that's not lost on George. "I don't expect this to become the norm for us when we struggle".

The Thunder led 63-44 at halftime after pulling away in the second quarter, outscoring the Lakers 37-18 in the period.

After the game, Lakers forward Brandon Ingram somberly stated, "Our defensive presence was not there after the first quarter".

Oklahoma City is in the middle of a 2 game losing streak, after their loss to the Dallas Mavericks, 116 - 113; Westbrook: 38 pts, 15 reb, 11 ast in loss.

"He gives us more shooting, veteran leadership, he's a big body going against this OKC team that is physical and leads the National Basketball Association in offensive rebounding", coach Luke Walton said of Lopez after Wednesday's shootaround. You ask 80, 70 percent of the guys in the league if they'd love to go back home and play for their city, for their home, that's all I stated. Despite losses in their last two games, they are in excellent form, continuing their elite defense and developing into the kind of offense which they should be with the talent at that end of the floor.

George also pointed out that he does get a fair amount of cheers on the road outside of his recent trip to IN where he received continuous boos throughout the contest, but the experience playing at home was an exciting situation.

When asked about how to fix the issue, Kuzma added, "It's all about effort". But it makes no sense to me that they don't really have a clear cut plan on what to do with everyone. With the defeat the Lakers fell to 11-26 on the season and a far cry from the goal of potentially squeezing into a playoff spot.

Many people view his move to OKC as purely a rental as he's expected to join Los Angeles in the summer as a free agent. He's now the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West.

"It was awesome, for one", George said, "Just being home, being in front of friends, family. It was awesome to get that love and energy". Then he gushed about Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, who would presumably be responsible for getting George the ball if he signs with the Lakers this coming offseason. And he's still speaking highly of his hometown team. It makes going in any direction harder, with the exception of down, as they've done.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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