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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 13th (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Lakers (22-42) at Oklahoma City Thunder (47-17), 9:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant will continue his campaign for MVP Thursday, when the Oklahoma City Thunder welcome the Los Angeles Lakers to Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Durant is the NBA's leading scorer with 31.9 points per game and is averaging 35.7 ppg in his last 12. He helped the Thunder to a 106-98 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday with a 42-point performance on 12-of-22 shooting. He also made 13-of-16 from the foul line.

Russell Westbrook scored 24 points and Serge Ibaka chipped in 12 to go with 16 rebounds, as the Thunder ended a two-game losing streak and won for the fourth time in the last six tries. Oklahoma City held the high-scoring Rockets to 41.8 percent shooting and used a 30-17 advantage in the second quarter to build a sizeable lead.

"Defensively I thought we did a great job of locking in for four quarters," said Westbrook.

The Thunder will close out their three-game homestand Sunday versus Dallas and have won four in a row in the OKC. They are 27-6 as the host, including a 17-2 mark against visiting Western foes.

Oklahoma City, which is headed toward another playoff berth, also sits one game behind San Antonio for the West's top seed.

Now that Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant is officially done for the season with a balky knee, the team can move on. The team made the announcement Wednesday.

"With Kobe's injury still not healed, the amount of time he'd need to rehab and be ready to play, and the amount of time remaining in the season, we've simply run out of time for him to return," Lakers trainer Gary Vitti said. "However, Kobe will have the entire offseason to heal, rehab and prepare, and we look forward to him being 100 percent for the start of next season."

Bryant also made a statement.

"Obviously this has been a frustrating and disappointing season, but I appreciate all the support I've received from the Lakers and the fans, and look forward to being back and ready for the start of training camp."

The Lakers will play two in a row on the road against Oklahoma City and San Antonio, and have an 11-22 record as the visitor this season.

The well-rested Lakers won the last time out in a 114-110 victory over the Thunder on Sunday and were led by Jodie Meeks' career-high 42 points. Meeks sank 6-of-11 3-pointers and scored 20 points in the third quarter, while Pau Gasol ended with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Los Angeles, which ended a three-game slide and won for just the fourth time in the past 14 tries.

"Jodie Meeks has been our most consistent performer all year," said Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni.

In milestone news, Gasol will play in his 900th career game.

L.A. snapped a three-game losing streak to the Thunder last weekend, but has lost eight of the past 11 meetings between the teams. The Lakers have lost four in a row at Oklahoma City.

03/13 10:53:40 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
 
3rd
CAR 3
NJD 1
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
Final
ARI 5
KAN 10
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
 
3rd
CHI 65
NYK 45
 
2nd
MIL 28
GSW 36
 
1st
UTA 13
OKC 19
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
DEN
Final
WISC 85
ARZ 78
2nd
YALE 69
CAN 62
 
1st
KENT 21
ND 24
 
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
3rd
MON 2
FLA 2
 
3rd
CAR 3
NJD 1
 
3rd
TOR 2
OTT 3
 
2nd
STL 2
CLB 2
 
2nd
MIN 2
LOS 1
 
1st
COL 2
BUF 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
DAL