Star Kuzma Carries Lakers Against Thunder in OT

Tomoki Cheung, Sports

This Thursday, Jan. 17, the Los Angeles Lakers played the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

This game was the twelfth game LeBron James missed due to a left groin strain.

While James was sidelined, Kyle Kuzma scored 32 points for the Lakers and helped his team beat the Thunder 138-128 in overtime.

“That was a really nice, big win for our group,” Laker’s coach Luke Walton said to MSN Sports. “We got contributions from everybody. This is a really hard place to win at. It’s a playoff team. For our guys to keep coming in and different people making plays it’s how we have to compete.”

From Oklahoma City Thunder, Paul George was able to score 27 points and Terrance Ferguson added 21. Russell Westbrook, however, made only 7 of his 30 shots.

In the final minute, Westbrook was fouled by Ball. Westbrook — a 64 percent free throw shooter — made all three of his foul shots to tie up the score. Since Kuzma missed a 3 at the buzzer, the game went into overtime.

From MSN Sports, NBA crew chief Tom Washington acknowledged that Westbrook should never have been awarded free throws.

“Upon being able to see the review of the play, we realized that illegal contact happened prior to his upward motion, so it should have been a side-out,” Washington said.

Walton was impressed with his second-year point guard’s overall effort, especially late in the game.