Rapid Reaction: Thunder 100, Lakers 85

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
9:38
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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It figured to be a challenging night for the Lakers heading to Oklahoma City on the second night of a back-to-back to put their 6-11 road record up against the Thunder's 14-1 home mark, and it was. Kobe Bryant struggled from the field for the second straight night, following up a 4-for-15 game in Dallas with a 7-for-24 night against the Thunder. Bryant's shooting reflected the Lakers' offensive struggles as a team, shooting just 38.5 percent from the field. Pau Gasol had his second straight strong game (22 points, 9 rebounds), but it was no match for Kevin Durant's 33 and Russell Westbrook's 19.

What it means: Heading into the All-Star break, the Lakers have the No. 5 record in the West and have beaten only two of the teams ahead of them in the conference standings. They're 0-1 against the No. 1 Thunder, have yet to play the No. 2 Spurs, are 1-1 against the No. 3 Clippers and 2-0 against the No. 4 Mavericks. Still, they head into the All-Star break winners of five of their past seven games, which is a major improvement over last year when they lost three in a row (including a bottoming-out defeat in Cleveland to a Cavs team they beat by 55 points earlier in the season) before All-Star Weekend.

Play of the game: After meeting the Thunder's early energy and holding a 23-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Lakers were primed to enter halftime still holding on to that advantage. That was before a Westbrook 3-pointer and a Durant steal and jumper with 0.8 seconds left in the half gave Oklahoma City a five-point spurt in one second and a four-point lead heading into the half. L.A. never recovered.

Stats of the night: The Lakers are now 1-5 this season when allowing their opponent to score 100 points or more. ... Metta World Peace was 13-for-65 (20 percent) this season on 3-pointers coming into the back-to-back against Dallas and Oklahoma, in which he went 1-for-1 from deep against the Mavs and 3-for-5 against the Thunder.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0