#parent | #kids | Lakers thump Thunder to stay unbeaten on the road – Orange County Register


It’s a season in which home-court advantage means as little as ever, but it still has to mean something: The Lakers have not yet lost on the road.

Momentum continued to pick up for the league leaders, as the Lakers (10-3) swept aside the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder, 128-99, on Wednesday night to improve to 7-0 away from Staples Center – the best road start in franchise history. The visitors never trailed.

Wednesday’s effort looked as breezy as the previous two wins in Houston: LeBron James made five 3-pointers to lead the way with 26 points, adding seven assists. Anthony Davis played just 24 minutes, adding 18 points.

While the Lakers had been revved up in the two previous games by limited fans in Houston, the COVID-19 protocols have created a sense of isolation that the team has turned into fuel rather than an impediment.

“We just have a bunker mentality when we go on the road,” James said. “It’s just us.”

It was another showing of strength from a franchise that has flexed since winning its 17th championship last October and churned to the best start in the NBA. But the league is rattling and shaking in response, too: Less than 24 hours after the Lakers thrashed the Houston Rockets in a road blowout and got James Harden to call his situation there untenable, the Brooklyn Nets traded for the NBA’s reigning scoring leader.

Among other shakeups, it reunites Harden with former Thunder teammate Kevin Durant and dynamic point guard Kyrie Irving in the latest super team alliance. As the team with the best record and a prohibitive title favorite, one interpretation of the move is a bid to get on the Lakers’ level.

“They look good on paper,” Davis said. “And we’ll see how it goes when those guys get in between the lines and get a chance to play alongside each other.”

The Lakers are well into that process with their newcomers – and it already looks good between the lines.

Dennis Schröder had an inefficient shooting night in his return to the team where he spent the last two seasons, needing 12 shots to score 14 points. But the 27-year-old point guard was plenty happy to play distributor on his new stacked squad, adding five assists.

While he was a runner-up for Sixth Man of the Year in Oklahoma City in a career-revitalizing two-year stint, Schröder is clearly happy where he is now, entertaining more questions recently about signing an extension in Los Angeles as long as “it’s fair on both sides.” A trip to his old arena was a nice jaunt down memory lane, but it didn’t seem to be much more.

“It was good to see those guys, and I think we have great chemistry in that organization (the Thunder),” Schröder said. “I just try to focus on getting the W.”

The Thunder fell to 0-5 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, a venue where they’ve traditionally been a stronghold behind the might of their energetic fans. But these are different days for the franchise since trading Chris Paul: Former Clipper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced Oklahoma City with 17 points.

The bench got plenty of playing time with a lead that reached double figures early in a game that saw the Lakers take command with a 16-0 second-quarter run. Montrezl Harrell had 21 points to lead a reserve unit that outscored its Oklahoma counterparts, 57-49. As a team, the Lakers shot 46 percent from 3-point range.





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