Banged-up Los Angeles Lakers host Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA All Star Game 2016

The Oklahoma City Thunder took down the Los Angeles Lakers 113-96 on Wednesday as they visited the Staples center, handing the Lakers their eighth straight defeat.

With Paul George's impending free agency a topic at shootaround Wednesday as the Oklahoma City Thunder prepared for the Los Angeles Lakers, Russell Westbrook said he doesn't feel the need to make a sales pitch to his superstar teammate.

"This story is always going to be here", George said.

"We continue to hold guys accountable for the way that we play, for the way that is acceptable for us to play", Lakers coach Luke Walton said.

OKC will return to the winners' list in this one and send the Lakers spiraling deeper into 15th place in the West. "I don't expect this to become the norm for us when we struggle".

The Thunder have lost two in a row by a combined five points following a six-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are 11-25. We all know Westbrook's ultimate goal is to get his team to the Finals. "I think he's certainly right up there with the best of them, if not the best". Despite losses in their last two games, they are in excellent form, continuing their elite defense and developing into the kind of offense which they should be with the talent at that end of the floor.

They haven't played well enough consistently to envoke much optimism.

When asked about how to fix the issue, Kuzma added, "It's all about effort". His scoring game is continually developing more weapons, and while he still needs to develop his understanding of when to pass, particularly out of a double team, his 3.3 assists per game are a good starting point. With the defeat the Lakers fell to 11-26 on the season and a far cry from the goal of potentially squeezing into a playoff spot.

While his attempts were ultimately unsuccessful, Westbrook met with Kevin Durant at a restaurant in Los Angeles while Durant was a free agent, according to ESPN The Magazine. After the game, George spoke about the experience of being cheered in Los Angeles, even though he was a visiting player and also having his family and friends in the stands. George will be one of the toughest defensive matchups he could face in the league, and this will be a great test for the young Laker. And the respect, the love, the recruitment (smiles). "Recruitment. To get that love and energy".

George has every right to be a fan of Ball's intangibles and basketball IQ, but Lonzo Ball is quite objectively not one of the best 20-year-old basketball players of all-time.

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