Preview: Lakers set to host Russell Westbrook and OKC Thunder

Following their letdown loss against the Thunder back on October 30th at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Lakers enter tonight with another opportunity to take down the Westbrook-led Thunder at Staples Center.

A game in which they led by as many as 8 points in the opening quarter, the Lakers did everything right against a strong Thunder team that was rolling on a strong 2-game winning streak.

Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Thunder wouldn’t take long in regaining the lead following a timeout at the 8-minute mark, and keeping it for the rest of the contest.

Although the Thunder have superstar point guard Russell Westbrook carrying and leading the team with an impressive 31.6 points per game this season, its the supporting cast that will likely help dictate who pulls out victorious in this one.

And here is where the Lakers, like in previous games, can utilize their strong bench (first in the league), to help leverage the tide against the starter heavy-Thunder whose bench ranks in the middle of the pack at 16th in scoring.

However, ultimately, as has been the case before, the Lakers will absolutely have to play better defense if they wish to have a shot at winning this game against the Thunder.

Having the league’s strongest bench doesn’t necessitate an automatic win unless your defense doesn’t do something to keep opposing players at bay for your barrage of shooting.

Tonight, this game will be no different. With a freeway series against the streaking Warriors looming, you have to, at the very minimum, give yourself a shot against the Thunder to help alleviate some of the pressure to try and steal another against the Warriors.

The game will air at 7:30 pm on Spectrum SportsNet and NBA TV.

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