The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-103, which puts them at 18-35 and 4th in the Pacific Division. Losing against the Thunder on Thursday night was the Lakers fifth consecutive lost at home and they have lost their last eight games out of 10. It was the last game before the All-Star break.
The Lakers were ahead at the end of the first three quarters, but then Kevin Durant and the Thunder became unstoppable. Former Laker, Derek Fisher, tied it up after making a 3-point shot. With 5:46 left to play, OKC took the lead of 92-87 by Durant doing what he does best scoring a layup and then just 32 seconds later scoring another 3-pointer. In the last 17 seconds, both Fisher and Durant made two free-throws which left OKC taking the W.
Beating the Lakers has put OKC six games ahead in the Northwest Division. Also, this win put the Thunder at having the best record in the NBA; their record is now 43-12.
In the last 10 games the Lakers have lost against the Orlando Magic (105-114), New York Knicks (103-110), Indiana Pacers (104-92), Charlotte Bobcats (100-110), Minnesota Timberwolves (99-109), Chicago Bulls (86-92) and Utah Jazz (79-96).
The Lakers have been down points and they have also been down players all season. Another player added on the injury list was point guard Steve Nash. He sat out because he had a certain irritation in his back and hamstring. Nash recently returned after having back surgery, which had him benched for 31 games. Nash is one of the seven players that are out due to injury. The other players who are also sitting on the sidelined are Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, and fan favorites Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant.
Bryant was selected to play in the Western Conference All-Star team by the fans, but is out and will not be able to play because of a knee injury. Gasol is out due to a minor groin strain. According to an article in ESPN NBA, Head coach Mike D’ Antoni said, “It’s been a crazy year, and there will still be some turbulence ahead”.
“But I think during these next 29 games we will get honed in and try to get better,” he added. “The thing I hope is that with all the effort, they get rewarded for it.”
Laker fans also are hoping that the purple and gold team find a way to battle out of this rough season. This was a tough season for fans because of all the injuries the Lakers had to endure.
Rene Maraquin, 36, who has been a fan since 1987 thought it was a tough lost against OKC in already a tough season. In the beginning, Maraquin thought it was going to be a great season but there have been many downfalls with different players.
“I thought we had a good team at least good enough to make the playoffs, but I never would have guessed we would have so many injuries to key players,” Maraquin said. After the All-Star break Maraquin hopes they get everyone healthy and finish the season strong. He wants them to improve as much as possible.
Another Laker fan, Juan Pacheco, 22, who has been a fan for 16 years, agrees that it has been a tough season due to the injuries which has lead them to lose a lot of games. Which is why Pacheco thought the lost against OKC was not a big deal.
“It feels ok not that bad because they were right there till the end verses a very good team,” Pacheco said. “I was hoping for a championship because that is expected of the Lakers and I just hope they start winning in the second half.”
Even though there are fans who have stuck by the Lakers despite there not so perfect season, there are other fans who have given up on them. Michael Cortez, 30, who has been a Laker fan all his life, is very disappointed in the Lakers and their season.
“They are playing so bad right now and most of our team is out right now,” Cortez said. “I did not think all the injuries would happen, but that how basketball is sometimes.”
He added, “I would be surprise if we make it in the playoffs, but I doubt it.”
Cortez has somewhat lost faith in his team, but there are other fans who have not given up and hope the team will turn around after the All-Star break. The fans that bleed purple and gold will stand by their team if they win or lose.
“I don’t think I could ever follow another team,” Maraquin said. “I’ve always followed the Clippers, I wish them success, but the Lakers will always be my #1.”