Los Angeles Lakers Looks to Improve Defense; Luke Walton Weighs In

The Los Angeles Lakers looked like they were about to suffer a maddening loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, after having a nine-point lead with just over three minutes left. The former UCLA standout scored half his points in a five-minute span of the fourth quarter to trim the Lakers' big lead to one point, then Steven Adams scored on a go-ahead putback of Westbrook's miss with 13.9 seconds to play.

The Lakers then passed the ball around the perimeter before Young coolly drained his four 3-pointer of the night.

Instead, Young apologized to the team afterward only for everyone to get a good chuckle out of the absurdity of it all. D'Angelo saw what Young did and he laughed about it.

The lack of shooting on this team is getting highlighted every night that the Thunder lean on Joffrey Lauvergne to put up the second most three-point attempts in a game.

The shot was the capper to a fine game for Young, who finished with 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from deep. Along with Luke Walton, Larry Nance Jr. and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers' bigs are taking ownership of their shortcomings on defense in the National Basketball Association 2016-17 season.

After Young had made the shot, the Thunder called time out to set up a play that eventually featured Westbrook missing a shot.

It was definitely a tighter contest that most had anticipated after watching the first three quarters of play, but Westbrook (as most superstars do) took over the game in the final period and almost sent the Purple and Gold packing to Oracle.

The Los Angeles native finished with 34 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds, barely missing his sixth triple-double of his unbelievable season.

Both teams travel north for Wednesday games, with the Lakers visiting the Golden State Warriors and the Thunder continuing their road trip against the Sacramento Kings. Walton expressed uncertainty on if Russell will complete any rehab work on Wednesday while the team is in Oakland.

As the room laughed audibly, Walton looked around and said, "That's amusing?" That is just simply not going to cut it from your starting Power Forward, especially when your starting Small Forward only finishes with 5. Russell, who sat out because of a sore knee, was nearby and smiled wide, appreciating the homage, and celebrated, too. Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers with 18 points, as six Lakers scored in double digits. Russell is experiencing pain when he makes cutting moves. Julius Randle had three points in 21 minutes while playing with a hip bruise that almost kept him out of the lineup. Immediately after the game, Walton reminded his players the Warriors (12-2) have only lost to the Spurs and the Lakers. "Obviously, the more time he misses the more serious it seems to be, but I'm not going to try to guess or make a judgment on that", Walton said. They got a stop with the game on the line and sent Chicago to another loss in Colorado.

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