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PREVIEW: Scrappy Oklahoma City Thunder get another crack at streaking Los Angeles Lakers

Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) shoots the ball over Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in overtime at Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Thunder 119-112 in overtime.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-A TODAY Sports
Feb 8, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) shoots the ball over Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in overtime at Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Thunder 119-112 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-A TODAY Sports

It wasn’t a lack of effort Monday when the short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder fell 119-112 in overtime in Los Angeles to the Lakers.

“I thought we threw a really good punch,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “We competed for 48 minutes. We laid it on the line. I thought we got contributions (from) all eight guys. Obviously, we were a player or two short. But we weren’t short in competitive spirit, feistiness or our scrap tonight.”

The Thunder’s competitiveness couldn’t overcome their limited offense down the stretch as the Lakers won their fifth straight. Oklahoma City gets another chance Wednesday when the teams meet up for a rematch at Los Angeles.

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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had another solid outing with 29 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds Monday, and Darius Bazley contributed 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Thunder, who have lost two of their last three. Hamidou Diallo scored 20 points and matched a career best with 11 rebounds.

Gilgeous-Alexander made three free throws to force overtime after being fouled by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a 3-point attempt with 1.2 seconds left in regulation.

“That was pretty impressive, obviously. It takes a lot of guts to go up there and make the shots that he did,” Daigneault said.

The Thunder outplayed the Lakers for much of the game. They led throughout the contest, including by 11 early in the fourth quarter, before the Lakers rallied. In overtime, Los Angeles scored seven consecutive points to clinch the win.

It was the second consecutive overtime contest for the Lakers. They edged the Detroit Pistons 135-129 in double overtime Saturday.

“One thing that team (the Thunder) does is they’ve got a lot of energy,” said LeBron James, who recorded his third triple-double this season with 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists. “Lot of young guys, lot of energy — they have no quit in them. Very well-coached, and it needed overtime in order for us to win this game. We did enough things to close it out in regulation, but they were able to close the gap.

“I’m good with one overtime compared to two overtimes.”

Montrezl Harrell had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Dennis Schroder added 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Los Angeles. Wesley Matthews, who was benched the past four games due to his ineffective play, scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 3 pointers. Kyle Kuzma chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds.

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Montrezl Harrell had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Dennis Schroder added 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Los Angeles. Wesley Matthews, who was benched the past four games due to his ineffective play, scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 3 pointers. Kyle Kuzma chipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“Exceptional performance by Wes tonight. That’s the simplest way to put it,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “Incredible energy on both sides of the ball but in particular defensively. … We definitely needed his toughness on that side of the ball, and he obviously hit some big threes.”

The Lakers played without Anthony Davis (Achilles) and Alex Caruso (hand). Both are listed as day-to-day on the injury report.

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Mike Muscala (concussion), Isaiah Roby (foot) and Theo Maledon (health and safety protocol) were out for Oklahoma City. Their status for Wednesday’s game has yet to be announced.

–Field Level Media