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Vitals: Lakers at Thunder

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant talks to the media on Sunday. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant talks to the media on Sunday.

Originally Published: Nov 2, 2009 2:37 PM CDT

Vitals | Lakers Notebook | Box Score | Recap

Dave Carty
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

Los Angeles Lakers (2-1) at Oklahoma City Thunder (2-1)
Ford Center, Oklahoma City
Game 4 of 82

Anticipated Starting Lineups

Lakers (Away)
Thunder (Home)
Derek Fisher
(5.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.7 APG)
Russell Westbrook
(15.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 8.3 APG)
SGKobe Bryant
(31.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.7 APG)
Thabo Sefolosha
(6.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.0 APG)
Ron Artest
(8.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.7 APG)
Kevin Durant
(22.0 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.7 APG)
PFLamar Odom
(12.3 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 6.7 APG)
Jeff Green
(19.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.7 APG)
Andrew Bynum
(20.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.0 APG)
Nenad Krstic
(11.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 0 APG)

Los Angeles: F/C, Pau Gasol (hamstring, day-to-day).
Oklahoma City:None reported.

Where to find it?

On TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma
On Radio: Thunder Radio Network

What you need to know?

The Los Angeles Lakers were last season’s NBA Champions and they might have gotten even better in the offseason with the acquisition of Ron Artest from the Houston Rockets. Artest is a defensive wizard and can score in bunches, making him one of the NBA’s best two-way players, that is, when he’s not being suspended. And, if you haven’t heard of Kobe Bryant, pop some popcorn and enjoy watching one of the universe’s best basketball players working against Thabo Sefolosha and James Harden.

The Thunder won their first two games easily enough, but saw their flaws exposed Sunday night against the Trailblazers. It started with a drubbing on the boards in the first quarter, only bouncing back after big man LaMarcus Aldridge limped of the court with a right knee bone bruise and didn’t return. The Thunder shot a poor 34 percent from the field – Kevin Durant’s lowlight 3-of-21 shooting taking the cake. Russell Westbrook saved face with 23 points, though gave up a career-high nine turnovers, pestered by Steve Blake for much of the game. Things could have been a lot worse for the Thunder Sunday night, but after an impressive start to the season, things could have been a lot better too.

Who to watch?

Kobe Bryant, Kobe Bryant, and Kobe Bryant. Or, if you’re looking for the less-conventional, look no further than Andrew Bynum. He’s off to a strong start, averaging 20.3 points in the Lakers’ three previous contests. With Pau Gasol out, Bynum has played 30-plus minutes in each of the Lakers games thus far and has stayed out of foul trouble. The Thunder will have to be on their toes because any one of the Lakers’ starters – and some guys off the bench – can burn you for points.

Nothing if not gritty, Jeff Green has jumped off to a solid start this season. He’s shown the ability to hit mid-range shots and power through traffic for buckets. Working against Lamar Odom, he’ll need the full repertoire to be successful. At least he won’t be working against Bryant or Artest.
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