Tuesday, April 23, 2024

NBA Preview: NBA Preview: Los Angeles Lakers (29-33) at Oklahoma City Thunder (28-33)

LeBron James, a superstar player for the Los Angeles Lakers, became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer when the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers met for the first time three weeks ago.

When the two teams meet on Wednesday night in Oklahoma City, James will not be with the Lakers.

In Sunday’s victory over the Mavericks, James hurt his right foot and is expected to miss several weeks.

The Lakers lost 121-109 to Memphis on Tuesday, their first game without James.

The Lakers are one game out of a play-in spot going into Wednesday’s game. The Lakers are half a game ahead of the Thunder.

After winning three consecutive games, the Lakers lost on Tuesday. Austin Reaves contributed 17 points, and Anthony Davis and Lonnie Walker IV combined for 49 points to lead the scoring.

Memphis only forced six turnovers while Los Angeles turned the ball over 26 times.

The Lakers will play their final three games of a three-game road trip on Wednesday. They will then return to Los Angeles to play their next five games and 10 of their next 12 games at home.

The Lakers are still without James and D’Angelo Russell, who is expected to miss his third game in a row due to a sprained right ankle.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder’s best player, will also be absent.

Gilgeous-Alexander entered the league’s health and safety protocol on Tuesday after missing three games in a row due to an abdominal strain and soreness in his right ankle.

Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 points in the Thunder’s 133-130 Oklahoma City victory over the Lakers on February 7 despite James taking center stage. Thunder rookie Jalen Williams also had a big game against the Lakers, scoring 25 points. Beginning with the victory in Los Angeles, Williams has scored an average of 18.3 points per game in his first eight games. In his first 49 games, he was scoring an average of 11.7 points per game.

Since the All-Star break, the Thunder have allowed at least 120 points in each of their first four games.

This season, the teams will play each other three times, the second of those times coming on Wednesday. On March 24, the show will come to an end in Los Angeles.

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