Westbrook’s stellar showing not enough for LA Lakers, Latest Basketball News - The New Paper

Westbrook’s stellar showing not enough for LA Lakers

Russell Westbrook posted the first triple-double of his Los Angeles Lakers career, but a late collapse saw the NBA giants crash to an upset 123-115 defeat by the previously winless Oklahoma City Thunder yesterday morning (Singapore time).

With LeBron James missing due to an ankle problem, Westbrook helped shoulder the Lakers' offensive burden with Anthony Davis, finishing with 20 points, 13 assists and 14 rebounds at the Paycom Arena in Oklahoma City.

But Westbrook and Davis, who had 30 points, were unable to prevent a superb comeback by the Thunder, who had trailed by as many as 26 points late in the second quarter before rallying after the interval.

The Lakers had erupted for 41 points in the first quarter, and looked to be cruising towards victory after taking a 72-56 lead at the break.

Oklahoma City turned the tables in the third quarter, however, outscoring the Lakers 41-23 to take a narrow 97-96 lead into the fourth.

Derrick Favors put the Thunder ahead 118-115 on a cutting layup with 31.2 seconds remaining, and the Lakers then missed three straight shots in the closing seconds as Oklahoma City held on for the win.

Westbrook's gamed ended ignominiously, ejected in the final two seconds after taking exception to Darius Bazley's exuberant running dunk.

"It's a disappointing loss," Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. "We took our foot off the gas. After that big first-quarter lead, usually you catch yourselves and sustain it, but we weren't able to do that."

Elsewhere, Bam Adebayo led a superb all-round offensive display with 24 points as the Miami Heat downed the Brooklyn Nets 106-93.

Kevin Durant led the Brooklyn scorers with 25 points while shooting guard Joe Harris had 15. James Harden was restricted to 14 points.

In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo erupted for 40 points with 16 rebounds and seven assists but the reigning champions Bucks stumbled to a 113-108 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. - AFP