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.