LOS ANGELES, USA – Paul George shrugged off a chorus of boos to score 37 points and lead Oklahoma City Thunder to a 107-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on Wednesday, January 2 (Thursday, January 3, Manila time).
George angered Lakers fans last year after ignoring the franchise in favor of a deal with Oklahoma City, a snub which came after long-running speculation he would move to Los Angeles.
On Wednesday, the Lakers fans unloaded on George at every opportunity, booing and whistling throughout whenever the 28-year-old touched the ball.
George, however, wound up having the last laugh, leading the scoring as OKC’s all-round offense proved too much for the Lakers, who were once again without the injured LeBron James.
@Yg_Trece drops 37 PTS to lead the way in @okcthunder's victory at Staples Center! #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/FtnjYShEcm— NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2019
George was one of 6 Thunder players to make double figures, with Russell Westbrook adding 14 points in a triple-double display which also included 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Lakers – who had to deal with the absence of four-time MVP James for the fourth straight game – lost another key cog in Kyle Kuzma during the game.
Kuzma, the young forward averaging 18.7 points this season, sat out the entire second half due to a lower back contusion.
Reports said Kuzma, who started in 36 games, will undergo an MRI on Thursday.
The Lakers have also been playing minus veteran guard Rajon Rondo, who’s out for a month to recover from a hand surgery.
Luke says he likes the way his team competed despite fourth quarter struggles. pic.twitter.com/v0jJ4StmP9— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 3, 2019
New Zealander Steven Adams also had 14 points for the Thunder, while starter Jerami Grant had 13 points.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 25 points for the Lakers off the bench, while Brandon Ingram finished with 17 points.
Oklahoma City improved to 24-13 with the win to remain 3rd in the Western Conference, with the Lakers in 8th spot at 21-17. – Rappler.com
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