Lakers top Thunder, snap 8-game skid on starless night – Press Enterprise



Bestinau got that-


LOS ANGELES — The biggest stars who took to the track Friday night were even older than the current Lakers roster.

The franchise threw a birthday party for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s upcoming 75th birthday, culminating in a ‘Happy Birthday’ performance in the repose of Herbie Hancock featuring Bill Walton, James Worthy, Spencer Haywood and Byron Scott around an oversized cake.

But without LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, what was left of the Lakers (32-49) could actually win, 120-101, against the ragtag Oklahoma City Thunder (24-57). While the win was largely symbolic – the team has already been eliminated in the postseason – it did make an eight-game losing streak, registering the Lakers’ first home win since March 11.

It may have been a welcome result on Fan Appreciation night, though winning a little earlier than now would have been most appreciated by the sold-out crowd. Still, the Lakers and Coach Frank Vogel had a small pleasure to finally get to the right side of the victory column.

“I don’t care if we get knocked out or not,” Vogel said. “We’ve lost eight games in a row, it’s time for a W.”

Up front was Stanley Johnson, who scored 21 points in a seasonal effort. But a lot of hands made for light offensive work: eight of the nine Lakers who played scored at least 10 points.

The competition is best forgotten. The Thunder are in the midst of a spectacular tank campaign, playing a six-man rotation with Georgios Kalaizakis and Vit Krejci. But as the Lakers try to dodge a season of 50 losses, they will take the wins they can get.

Johnson said the team was fueled by the nonsense they’ve been hearing lately: “People love to kick you when you’re down.

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