LOS ANGELES (AP) — Russell Westbrook had 20 points and 12 rebounds in a successful return home and rookie Terrance Ferguson scored 24 in his first career start as the Oklahoma City Thunder routed the Lakers 133-96 on Wednesday night, handing Los Angeles its eighth consecutive defeat.
Paul George also scored 24 points and Carmelo Anthony added 21 for the Thunder to complement Westbrook, who was born in Long Beach and went to college at UCLA.
The Lakers were led by rookie Kyle Kuzma’s 18 points. The Lakers shot just 41.3 percent from the field on the night, while the Thunder shot 60.2 percent.
Ferguson skipped college to play professionally for one year in Australia. He connected on nine of 12 shots, and the 24 points easily surpassed his previous career high of seven.
The Thunder took control in the second quarter, outscoring the Lakers 37-18 as George had 13 points in the period.
Thunder: Despite the additions of George and Anthony this season, Westbrook leads the team in points, rebounds and assists. Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said Westbrook is no longer the young player who came up with Kevin Durant trying to establish himself. “He is always trying to do what’s best for the team. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well early (this season),” Donovan said. “He puts a tremendous about of responsibility and ownership on himself as a point guard — that it’s his job to get those guys involved. He was trying to get those guys involved.”
Lakers: Julius Randle, thought somewhat undersized as a 6-foot-9 power forward, started his fourth consecutive game at center despite the return of Brooks Lopez (ankle). Randle had been getting irregular playing time but in his first three starts averaged 20.7 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the field. “Julius has been great all year. He probably deserves more playing time,” coach Luke Walton said. “He’s obviously been frustrated with me at times, but he’s done a really nice job of when he gets called on does a great job. He produces when he’s out there.” … Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball (shoulder) missed his sixth consecutive game. He is expected to return to practice Thursday.
Thunder: Play at Staples Center again Thursday when they face the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lakers: Play the middle game of their three-game homestand Friday against Charlotte.
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