The Los Angeles Lakers came back from an 18-point first half deficit to take their own 18-point lead, then withstood a late rally by Oklahoma City to beat the Thunder 114-110 on Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
OKC’s defense was once again an issue, as they surrendered 63 points in the second half, including a 36-point third quarter by the Lakers, with 20 of those coming from Jodie Meeks.
Meeks led all scorers with 42 points, hitting six of LA’s 13 three-pointers.
The Lakers went on a 31-5 run late in the third and into the fourth quarter, and built the lead to 95-77.
OKC responded with a 10-0 run and and cut the deficit to three when Russell Westbrook scored on a fast break slam dunk to make it 110-107 Lakers.
But Westbrook airballed a three-point attempt that could have tied it, and Kent Bazemore got a layup to put the Lakers up five and seal the win.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, his third triple-double of the season.
Westbrook had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists, but made just 7 of 23 from the field, 2 of 10 from three-point range, and had 8 turnovers.
Serge Ibaka had a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
The Thunder outrebounded L.A. by 23, and took 19 more shots than the Lakers, but L.A. was much more efficient offensively.
Besides Meeks, five other Lakers scored in double figures, led by Pau Gasol’s 20 points and 11 rebounds.
It looked early like OKC might win in a blowout, as they built an 18-point lead at 44-26.
L.A. got back in it with an 11-0 run and trailed 56-51 at halftime.
OKC drops to 46-17 on the season and have lost 5 of their last 8 games.
The Thunder open a three-game homestand starting with Houston on Tuesday night at 7:00.