The Los Angeles Lakers’ patchy start to the season continued on Wednesday, as the star-studded team blew a historic 26-point lead in a 123-115 defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
According to ESPN, it is the biggest lead the Lakers have blown in the last 25 seasons. Heading into Wednesday’s game, the franchise had a 230-0 record when leading by at least 25 points in that time.
LeBron James missed his second consecutive game due to an ankle injury picked up in Sunday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies, with Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook picking up most of the slack in his absence.
Davis had 30 points as Westbrook racked up a triple-double with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists — his first since joining the Lakers — though the former Thunder man also registered a staggering 10 turnovers.
The Lakers led 56-30 during the second quarter, but an inspired Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder to an improbable comeback with 27 points and nine rebounds, including a circus shot three-pointer to beat the third quarter buzzer and give OKC the lead.
Things would get worse for the Lakers as Westbrook was ejected late in the game after picking up his second technical foul.
With the Thunder leading by five, Westbrook had taken exception to Darius Bazley dunking the ball after stealing an inbound pass with just four seconds left, instead of dribbling out the clock.
It is often considered one of basketball’s unwritten rules that a team with an insurmountable lead in the final few seconds doesn’t continue to try and score anymore points.
“How I play the game, I’m more old school and when sh*t like that happens, I don’t let it slide,” Westbrook told reporters. “In the game of basketball, there’s certain things you just don’t do.
“The game is already over and I didn’t like it. Simple as that.”
Defeat means the Lakers fall to 2-3 on the year, as the Thunder pick up their first win of the season to go 1-4.
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