OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – LeBron James scored 26 points and the Los Angeles Lakers sent the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-99 on Wednesday evening for their franchise-record seventh consecutive road victory to start the season.
“We just have a roadside bunker mentality – just us,” said James. “But it's clear that we're more alone because of the limitations, COVID, everything that's going on. So we've gotten even closer.”
Montrezl Harrell added 21 points and Anthony Davis had 18 points and seven rebounds. The defending champion Lakers has won four in a row to improve to an NBA best 10-3. They surpassed the 1985-86 squad with the 7-0 away start.
But the road is different this season with arenas largely empty.
“It's all about execution and your level of focus,” said James. "You have to be able to build your own energy sometimes. Like tonight we go back-to-back, three in four nights. For us to come back-to-back – in Houston last night, come to OKC late and to an arena without fans. come – you have to let your own energy bloom from your group, yourself. "
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 17 points to lead Oklahoma City.
The Lakers led 24 in the second quarter, before the Thunder reduced it to 58-46 halfway through. James scored 15 points in the half.
James hit a 3-pointer with Thunder defensive stopper Lu Dort in the face, then made a 3-pointer and was fouled by Isaiah Roby on the next possession. The free throw gave the Lakers a 74-50 lead. On the Lakers' next possession, James lay-up to give him nine points in 66 seconds. James made 4 of 6 shots and scored 11 runs in the third quarter to help the Lakers take a 93-71 lead.
The Lakers' biggest lead was 31 points in the fourth quarter. Thunder never led.
"It's one of 72 games, and it's all opportunities," said Thunder coach Mark Daigneault. "They are all opportunities to compete and they are opportunities to learn, and we just have to keep using every experience to keep growing and moving forward."
Lakers: James expanded his game streak by at least 10 points to 1,008. … Harrell was called up for a technical foul in the third quarter. … Markieff Morris scored 11 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 10.
Thunder: C Al Horford rested because it was back-to-back's second game. … Roby got his second start of the season at Horford & # 39; s place with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists. … G Hamidou Diallo hit a shot from just past the halfway to end the third quarter. … Rookie F Alexey Pokusevski scored 10 points a season high.
Former Thunder Guard Dennis Schroder scored 14 points for the Lakers. He averaged 18.9 points per game last season and helped Oklahoma City reach the playoffs.
James across the stands after taking a shot in the third quarter:
"I don't know. There was actually someone up there, but I wasn't really looking for anyone. I mean, I just visualize that at some point we have fans in the building again. It was great to see some fans in Houston. . "
Diallo, who averaged 21.3 points in his previous three games for Oklahoma City, finished with 9 points on 4-for-6 shots in 20 minutes.
Lakers: New Orleans host on Friday nights.
Thunder: Chicago host and former Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan on Friday nights.