Lakers Continue Freefall, Lose At Home To Thunder

The Lakers hold the tiebreaker with both Dallas and Oklahoma City.

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Durant, Westbrook Lead Thunder Over Lakers, 120-106; Fifth Straight Loss For L.A.

The Los Angeles Lakers still control their own destiny for the No. 2 seed in the NBA Western Conference playoffs, but the way they are playing that might not be enough. The Lakers lost their fifth straight game on Sunday night, 120-106 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, at Staples Center. The Lakers had beaten the Thunder eight straight games at Staples Center before Sunday's contest.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 31 points, while former UCLA Bruin Russell Westbrook added 26 points, six boards, and seven assists. The Thunder closed the game on a 17-2 run. The Lakers had just one turnover through the first three quarters, after which they led by two points, but Los Angeles committed nine turnovers in the final period.

"We made some mistakes down the stretch, and they capitalized on most of them," head coach Phil Jackson after the game. "There were too many fouls in this game by our defensive group."

Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 31 points, while Pau Gasol added 26 points. The duo combined to make 20 of 35 field goals (57.1%). Andrew Bynum had a double-double for the Lakers with 12 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks in 39 minutes.

The Lakers have two games remaining, Tuesday against San Antonio at home and Wednesday night in Sacramento. The Lakers are tied with Dallas at 55-25, and are one game up on Oklahoma City for the No. 2 seed in the west. The Lakers hold the tiebreaker over both teams.

For more news and information on the Lakers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Vs. Thunder: Game Time, TV, Probable Starting Lineups, Etc

The Lakers were the hottest team in the NBA just one week ago Sunday, having won 17 of 18 games since the All-Star break, but now they face a team nearly as hot in the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Lakers have lost four straight games, the Thunder are 17-4 in their last 21 games. Here are the probable starting lineups for tonight's 6:30 p.m. PDT game, which will be televised by Fox Sports West:

Thunder (53-26)

Lakers (55-24)

The Lakers have defeated Oklahoma City eight straight times at Staples Center in the regular season.

For more news and information on the Lakers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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Lakers Host Thunder In Potential NBA Playoff Preview

With the No. 2 seed still in their sights, the Los Angeles Lakers look to stop the bleeding Sunday night as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. The Lakers have lost four straiaght games, but their magic number to clinch the No. 2 seed remains two, with three games remaining. Oklahoma City still has a shot at the No. 2 seed, but it would require the Lakers to lose all three remaining games.

The Lakers have beaten the Thunder in both meeting this season, and Pau Gasol has led the Lakers in scoring each time (tied with Kobe Bryant back in January). The Lakers are 29-10 at home this season, while the Thunder are 23-16 on the road. Oklahoma City has won three straight games, and 17 of their last 21. Dexter Fishmore at Silver Screen and Roll thinks the Western Conference playoff seeding is up in the air:

For the last six weeks or so, a postseason battle between these teams seemed unlikely. With the Lakers apparently headed for the second seed in the West and the Thunder chugging along in fourth, the probable outcome was that they'd land on opposite sides of the conference playoff bracket. Now, who knows. The Lakers' losing streak, combined with a 17-4 run on the part of OKC, has jumbled the conference race. The Lakers, Mavs and Thunder could finish two-three-four in any order. If the Mavs lose at home today to the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers can clinch the second seed with a victory over the Thunder. But if both the Mavs and Thunder win, the last few days of the regular season will be a chaotic free-for-all to see who finishes where.

The Lakers have beaten the Thunder eight straight times at Staples Center in the regular season. Tonight's 6:30 p.m. PDT game will be televised on Fox Sports West.

For more news and information on the Lakers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.

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