NBA: Anthony, Thunder cruise past Lakers

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Jan 18 2018 11:39 AM

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots the ball over Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle (30) at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points, just one off his season high, and Steven Adams chipped in a double-double as the Oklahoma City Thunder parlayed a breakout third quarter into a 114-90 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Anthony flashed a hot hand from the start, making his first three shot attempts during his eight-point first quarter before adding eight points in the second. As Oklahoma City turned a six-point halftime advantage into a 23-point lead in the third, Anthony poured in 11 points during the period, including nine down the stretch while the Thunder gradually pulled away.

Adams was instrumental in pacing a dominating effort on the glass, posting 21 points and 10 rebounds. Adams grabbed seven offensive rebounds, and Oklahoma City produced a plus-14 edge in field-goal attempts. The Lakers shot effectively in the first half, but when their offense cooled in the third quarter, their inability to secure defensive rebounds exacerbated matters.

Oklahoma City finished with a 54-30 advantage on the boards and shot 48.4 percent overall.

Russell Westbrook added 19 points, six boards and seven assists for the Thunder, and Paul George tallied 13 points. Oklahoma City has won three consecutive games following a three-game skid.

The Lakers fell to 0-8 without rookie guard Lonzo Ball, who missed a second consecutive game with a knee injury.

Los Angeles' Julius Randle scored 16 points, all in the first half, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope posted 10 points in the first quarter before leaving in the second with an ankle injury. The Lakers have dropped consecutive games following a season-best four-game winning streak.

Anthony pushed the Thunder to a 16-8 lead with his early scoring burst before Caldwell-Pope sparked a surge that pulled the Lakers to within 28-25.

The Lakers continued that run in the second quarter, turning a 12-0 rally into a 37-35 lead. Anthony and Randle dueled down the stretch of the first half, but when the Thunder fashioned a 13-2 blitz in the third quarter, with Westbrook, Adams, Anthony and George contributing, the Lakers couldn't fashion a response.

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