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Thunder rumbles and Lakers stumble, 100-85

Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum have off nights as L.A. heads into All-Star break with another loss on the road.

February 23, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Lakers point guard Steve Blake tries to cut off a drive by Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook in the second half Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
Lakers point guard Steve Blake tries to cut off a drive by Thunder point guard… (Sue Ogrocki / Associated…)

Reporting from Oklahoma City -- It's an appropriate time for the All-Star break. The Lakers look broken.

They were run off the court by the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 100-85 loss Thursday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The stat of the game, not that it was overly surprising: Oklahoma City had 21 fastbreak points, the Lakers only six.

The runner-up observation of the game: Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers' two All-Stars, never found their shot all night. Bynum had 14 points on five-for-15 shooting. Bryant had 24 points on dismal seven-for-24 shooting.

Apologies up front if it sounds repetitive, but the Lakers fell to 6-12 on the road, 0-11 when trailing after three quarters on the road.

Indicative of their night was a remarkably poor sequence right before halftime. The Lakers (20-14) allowed a three-pointer by Russell Westbrook with 0.8 of a second left and a 15-footer by Kevin Durant after he stole an inbounds pass by Bynum.

The Lakers trailed at halftime after that flurry, 46-43. They never led again.

Bryant had his second bad shooting night in a row. He also had a lengthy, um, chat with Durant and Thunder guard James Harden toward the end of the game.

Bryant laughed about it afterward.

"Maybe one day they'll be able to sit at my lunch table," he said. "Right now we're at two different lunch tables, man. The conversation's pretty brief."

Durant had 33 points for Oklahoma City (27-7), which improved to 15-1 at home. Westbrook had 19 points for the Thunder. Harden had 16.

Durant and Westbrook will be at the All-Star game Sunday in Orlando. The Lakers do not play again until Wednesday against Minnesota. They could use some downtime.

"We've got to work too hard to get points," Bryant said. "I'm sure the coaches will talk about it over All-Star break, but we've got to make our jobs a little easier. We're going against defenses that are sending double-teams all the time. We've got to have a little more movement — free Andrew up, free Pau [Gasol] up, free myself up so I don't have to work against two guys all the time.

"Oklahoma does a fantastic job over there. They do a great job of putting [Durant] in the right place so he doesn't have to work too much."

In the final minutes Thursday, Bryant missed horribly on a long three-point attempt, had a shot blocked by Harden and then a shot blocked by Serge Ibaka.

In the very fine print, the Lakers fell to 1-4 on the second night of back-to-back road games, another ominous stat in a shortened season with so many back-to-back sets.

Everything bounced the Lakers' way early when Metta World Peace forced two Durant turnovers, made a three-pointer and fed Bynum for a fastbreak dunk in the first eight minutes.

The end of the second quarter was more telling, however.

"That should never happen," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said.

On Bynum's attempted inbounds pass, Derek Fisher took off to try to spring free for a long outlet, but the other players "just kind of stood there and left 'Drew out to dry," Brown said. "That's why you can't ever stop playing until the buzzer. We addressed it at halftime and hopefully that won't happen to us again."

A lot has happened to the Lakers up to this point. Not much of it has been refreshing.

"We've got a ways to go to get better," Gasol said.

The second half of the season awaits.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan  

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