The Lakers couldn’t avoid a late ‘Thunder’ storm and another loss

Kobe Bryant and Kendrick Perkins play touchy-feely at Staples Center

The Lakers are trying to keep from losing a 5th straight game for the first time in over 4 years but the younger and hungry Oklahoma City Thunder are standing in their way. OKC came out flying to grab an early 12 point lead but after Kobe Bryant and ex-Celtic big Kendrick Perkins got tangled up in tug of war match with their upper bodies, the Lakers woke up and trail by just 2 at the half. And Kobe leads all scorers with 22 points on 8/11 from the floor. But where is the Lakers defense again? The Thunder shot over 62% so far lead by ex-Bruin Russell Westbrook’s 18 pts., 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Perkins who loves to use his mouth as much as big body had some words about the Lakers’ Pao Gasol being soft…which seems like a soft comment considering that Pao has back to back rings and Perkins’ old team in Boston was on the wrong side of the last one. And it’s up to Gasol and his teammates to show who’s soft in the 2nd half and stop an ugly streak before the final week of the regular season stares them in the face.

Kobe leaves Perkins in his wake for 2

And the Lakers fell flat on their faces late in the game allowing a 17-2 run in the final 3 minutes and lost 120-106. The Thunder were led by the league’s leading scorer again as Kevin Durant tallied 31 with help from Russell Westbrook’s 26 for their first win in this building and their confidence has to be higher than ever heading into the playoffs, just the opposite of the Lakers who are looking for that proverbial button to push this time of year.

After the game I asked Thunder head coach Scott Brooks (of local UC-Irvine fame) about finally beating the Lakers in L.A., but also check out his answer to my question on if he’d rather not have Perkins making statements in public like ‘Gasol is soft’?…

OKC coach Scott Brooks with Ted Sobel et al:

Meanwhile Kevin Durant was his usual unassuming self in front of his locker even though he just finished one his club’s best wins of the season…

Kevin Durant with Ted Sobel et al:

And then it was off to the obviously subdued Lakers locker room where I looked into guard Shannon Brown’s eyes with a bit of “what the hell is going on with you guys?” look…

Shannon Brown with Ted Sobel:

Pao Gasol had himself a 26 point night but it didn’t do much for his personal disappointment in how the Lakers are winding down the regular season so ugly…

Pao Gasol with Ted Sobel et al:

And we waited an extra long time for Kobe Bryant to finally leave the trainers room and he wasn’t as talkative after this loss as he was in the last home debacle. But as you’ll hear, I tried to pry SOME words out of him (I deserve SOME overtime for that futile effort)…

Kobe Bryant with Ted Sobel et al:

So only one more home game left for the Lakers vs. San Antonio on Tuesday before wrapping up the regular season on Wednesday night in Sacramento in what figures to be the Kings last game ever there before moving to Anaheim. But I’ll miss them both as I head to San Francisco in the morning to cover the entire Dodgers-Giants series at my favorite stadium in the world-AT&T Park where McCovey Cove shines in the right field background like a perfect painting. Unfortunately my Monday assignment for KNX is to report on the fans and security around the stadium after the sad event that happened on Opening Day at Dodgers Stadium after the Dodgers beat the Giants…and a thug ruined the life of a Giants supporter and fans everywhere who just want to feel safe going to a sporting event.

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About Ted Sobel

Award winning sportscaster/journalist covering major events around the world since 1973. Please check out my deep audio vault and follow me on twitter (@tedsobelsports).
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