Stanley Johnson scored 21 points, a record for the season, and the Los Angeles Lakers ended their eight-game losing streak by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-101 on Friday night.
Wenyen Gabriel added 16 points and the Lakers won the home portion of their miserable season with their first win since March 21 despite being without LeBron James (Anthony Davis), Russell Westbrook (Russell Westbrook) and Carmelo Anthony.
Jaylen Hover had a career record of 27 points and 17 rebound, and Georgios Kaskaitzakis scored a career best 25 points. In contrast, the Thunder used just six players for their 15th loss in 19 matches. Oklahoma City has finished its first back-toback losing seasons since 2008. It will play two games in downtown Los Angeles.
Since Jan. 7, when their supporting cast won this win, the Lakers are now at 11-30. James was injured in his ankle earlier in the game, so he was out for the season. He also lost his chance to win the second NBA scoring championship.
Los Angeles was eliminated Tuesday from playoff contention, suffering the last blow in one the most embarrassing seasons of recent NBA history. The Lakers were unable to get even one play-in spot after Davis’s lengthy absence due to injury.
Only 21 games were played by James, Davis, and Westbrook this season.
Frank Vogel, the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, could play a final game. It seems like he will be the one responsible for their woes. Vogel was only 18 months old when the Lakers won their 17th Florida championship. But, the team lost in the first round last year’s playoffs.
Kalaitzakis was a rookie Greek player who started the season in Milwaukee. He scored in double figures his third consecutive day since signing with Thunder out of G League.
Hoard’s latest line of numbers is also impressive, while Hoard, a three-year NBA veteran, gets his first extended playing time this season.
Thunder: Isaiah Roby fell hard and was out of the game for the first quarter. However, he returned sparingly because of foul trouble.
Lakers: Gabriel received a standard NBA contract earlier today, extending his solid play since he joined LA in March on a two-way deal. Vogel indicated that Anthony, Westbrook, Davis and Westbrook are still available for Sunday’s season finale. Kendrick Nunn was sidelined for three weeks after sustaining a bone injury to his right knee in his 81st consecutive match. After not playing this season, he has a $5.25million player option for next year.
Halftime saw the Lakers celebrate Kareem’s 75th Birthday. Herbie Hancock joined the former NBA teammates as he sang to Abdul-Jabbar over a large cake. Abdul-Jabbar will turn 75 on April 16.
Thunder: Clippers at Thunder on Sunday.
Lakers: Sunday Nuggets.