Kobe Bryant: Los Angeles Lakers Guard Takes On the Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers
Thursday, 3/29/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Oklahoma City PK
Current Betting Line:  Oklahoma City -1
Opening Total:  201
Current Total:  200.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Lakers Spurs NBA Game Preview
Los Angeles Lakers G Kobe Bryant will face off against former teammate Derek Fisher Thursday night inside the Staples Center

Oklahoma City has the best record in the Western Conference and has won four games in a row entering tonight’s contest against the Los Angeles Lakers inside the Staples Center.  The Thunder have covered three of those four wins, including a dominating 109-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers as 4.5-point road favorites on Tuesday night.  Offensively, the team shot 57.0 percent from the floor, as All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook led the way with 32 points and eight assists.  Oklahoma City is 8-7 ATS in March and the “over” is 9-6 in that situation.

The Thunder are 16-8 overall on the road this season, including a 12-6 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  Oklahoma City captured a 100-85 win over Los Angeles in the first meeting this season as seven-point home favorites, while going “under” the posted total of 195.5.  Total players will find that the “under” has cashed in four of the last five meetings overall.  Tonight’s game also signals the return of Derek Fisher to Los Angeles since being traded by the franchise, as he has missed 17 of 22 shots since being signed by Oklahoma City.

Los Angeles has won three of four games, but not everything is rosy in Laker Land as the team begins a four-game homestand.  Lakers first-year head coach Mike Brown has  tried to get a hold of his team by benching guard Kobe Bryant and center Andrew Bynum over the last two games.  He was upset at Bynum for taking an ill-advised three-point shot in a 104-101 win over the Golden State Warriors last time out.  “That’s something that I felt could’ve taken us out of rhythm,” stated Brown after the game.  Los Angeles is 6-10 ATS when revenging a loss against an opponent.

The Lakers still have another offensive threat in forward Pau Gasol on the floor, who is coming off a 19-point and 17-rebound performance.  He came into the contest averaging 16.8 points and 10.4 rebounds on the season.  Los Angeles is 20-4 at home this season, including a 14-2 mark versus Western Conference foes.  Including last season, the franchise has taken six straight season series from Oklahoma City.

Bettors will likely back the Thunder due to their 4-0 ATS mark versus Pacific division opponents, while the Lakers are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games.

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