Thunder on the low side 130-127.
On a wild night in Oklahoma City, the Thunder suffered their third straight loss falling to the Lakers 130-127. Trailing by three with eight seconds left, the Thunder had a chance to tie. Coming out of a timeout which allowed Oklahoma City to be inbound in the frontcourt Shai Gilgeous-Alexander elected to go for a driving finger roll layup to cut the Laker lead to 128-127. That would force Chris Paul to foul Anthony Davis, Davis would convert his free-throws, game over.
Gilgeous-Alexander was asked about his decision to go for two vs. three. and said, "They gave me a layup, so I took a layup, and I figured we'd foul a bad free-throw shooter or anyone we could at the moment Anthony just happed to hit both free-throws." As far as Billy Donovan being okay with that decision, Gilgeous-Alexander says Donovan didn't tell him otherwise, but he guesses "we'll see at practice."
After being out for three games with a sprained knee, Hamidou Diallo would make his return to the rotation on Friday. Diallo's performance would be short-lived. With 9:32 left, Diallo fell to the floor after fouling Lebron James. Diallo hit his right elbow and never came back in. Billy Donovan did not have a diagnosis nor a time for when we might see Diallo again.
The Thunder's transition defense was markedly better from the previous meeting. On Wednesday, the Lakers hit Oklahoma City for 30 fast-break points on Friday Los Angeles only managed 19. The third-quarter saw the Thunder dig themselves a hole yet again as the Lakers raced out to a 15-5 run and outscored Oklahoma City 40-36.
With ten minutes left, Rajon Rondo was called for a flagrant two after a shot to Dennis Schroder's groin. Laker assistant Lionel Hollins had to push Rondo off the court practically. Schroder didn't seem to suffer any ill effects other than some pain. Schroder would finish the night with 13 points on 5 of 12 shooting.
The Thunder hit the road for games with Golden State and Portland before coming back to the Peake the day after Thanksgiving.
Warriors and Thunder Monday night at 9:30 on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.