That shifted the focus to Russell Westbrook playing against his old team.
The Thunder were clearly motivated and after falling behind big early, they mounted a comeback to shock the Lakers.
That puts Oklahoma City at 1-4 on the year and drops the Lakers to 2-3 in what is an ugly start for Los Angeles.
Such a collapse by the Lakers meant there was drama to be had late.
Thunder forward Darius Bazley decided to steal a lazy pass late in the game and throw down a thunderous dunk.
He did this instead of dribbling the clock out and it led to a Westbrook ejection, who was not pleased with Bazley’s dunk.
Russ didn’t hold back. pic.twitter.com/WkXlBs3n1f
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 28, 2021
This seems like an overreaction from Westbrook, but it won’t spoil the Thunder’s excitement one bit.
A Harmless Play
The Lakers could have just accepted the fact they blew a giant lead against a rebuilding team and gone home.
But Westbrook created a scene and all it did was make him and his team look like sore losers.
Russell Westbrook was just ejected with 1.5 seconds left in this one. Ugly night for the Lakers.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) October 28, 2021
Bazley stole what was a terrible pass and dunked it in front of the home fans.
This happens all the time, but unwritten rules seem to be called out at random to drive home a point.
A bigger concern than this dunk is the performance of the Lakers to start the season.
James is already getting rest for an injury and his team lost without him to arguably the worst team in the NBA.
Taking out frustrations on a late dunk just masks the real problems at hand.
The Lakers should ultimately be fine and James’ squads are known to have slow starts.
A lot of veteran pieces are still meshing together and time is needed.
But if this Thunder loss lingers, real problems will emerge.