Lakers outclassed in Oklahoma in a night of NBA surprises
LeBron James was missing as the Lakers lost a 26-point lead on Wednesday to eventually falling to Oklahoma City Thunder, who secured their first win of the new season.
An ongoing ankle issue forced LeBron James to sit out Wednesday's game as his Los Angeles Lakers side threw away a 26-point lead to fall to a young Oklahoma City Thunder side who recorded their first win of the new NBA season.
In a night full of surprises, the reigning champions, the Milwaukee Buck and the strongly fancied Brooklyn Nets, also stumbled against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Miami Heat, respectively.
The most unexpected result of the night was in Oklahoma (123-115) despite 30 points from Anthony Davis and the triple double of Russell Westbrook: 20 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists.
The Oklahoma City team who rank as one of the most inexperienced in the league looked to point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished with 27 points and produced a series of spectacular baskets as a triple in the last second of the third quarter against Westbrook.
With only ten seconds to play, Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony missed two triples that missed the rim and would have placed the tie.
Frustration in the Lakers led to Westbrook being sent off for facing Darius Bazley for celebrating a dunk with the game already sentenced for Oklahoma.
The Lakers add two wins and three losses at the start of the season in which their commitment to an ultra-veteran squad is leaving many doubts.
Nets fall to Heat
The Nets, who also have a 2-3 record, fell 106-93 to the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
The Brooklyn defense could not stop pivot Bam Adebayo on the court, who added 24 points and 9 rebounds and was well supported by Jimmy Butler, who finished with 17 and 14.
Kevin Durant again led Brooklyn offensively with 25 points and 11 rebounds while James Harden continued his uneven start to the season and finished with just 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Nets are still unable to count on the other member of their 'Big 3', Kyrie Irving, still out of action for his refusal to be vaccinated against covid-19.
Wolves too strong for Bucks
In Milwaukee, the Bucks suffered their second loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-108 despite Giannis Antetokounmpo's 40 points and 16 rebounds.
Bucks' other star Khris Middleton stayed at 16 points with 1/8 on 3s and only one other teammate, Grayson Allen, surpassed ten points with 13.
Milwaukee was unable to stop the trio of young Timberwolves figures, who combined to score 79 points: D'Angelo Russell (29), Karl-Anthony Towns (25) and Anthony Edwards (25).
Wednesday night NBA results:
Orlando Magic - Charlotte Hornets 111-120
Boston Celtics - Washington Wizards 107-116
Brooklyn Nets - Miami Heat 93-106
Toronto Raptors - Indiana Pacers 118-100
New Orleans Pelicans - Atlanta Hawks 99-102
Milwaukee Bucks - Minnesota Timberwolves 108-113
Oklahoma City Thunder - Los Angeles Lakers 123-115
Phoenix Suns - Sacramento Kings 107-110
Portland Trail Blazers - Memphis Grizzlies 116-96
LA Clippers - Cleveland Cavaliers 79-92