National Basketball Association
Preview
L.A. Lakers at Oklahoma City
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, February 24, 2017
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Magic Johnson was part of the "Showtime" Los Angeles Lakers who won five NBA titles in the 1980s but the Hall of Fame player is an unknown quantity when it comes to being an executive. Johnson is the new president of basketball operations of the Lakers, who resume play after the All-Star break by visiting the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.

Johnson became the organization's main power broker when co-owner Jeanie Buss fired her brother, Jim, as executive vice president of basketball operations and general manager Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday in a stunning development. "Everything happened so fast," Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters. "The initial thought is why do it right before the trade deadline, but Magic came in and we got to work right away." Oklahoma City is always happy to see Los Angeles as the opponent as its two wins earlier this season make it 10 consecutive victories over the Lakers. The Thunder acquired power forward Taj Gibson and small forward Doug McDermott at Thursday's trading deadline for point guard Cameron Payne, forward/center Joffrey Lauvergne and swingman Anthony Morrow.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Spectrum SportsNet (Los Angeles), FSN Oklahoma

ABOUT THE LAKERS (19-39): Johnson didn't wait long to make a trade as he shipped leading scorer Lou Williams (18.6) to the Houston Rockets for veteran swingman Corey Brewer and a first-round draft pick, and he also has inquired about the availability of Indiana All-Star forward Paul George. Johnson emphasized that he is aware it won't be easy to restore the franchise to its once glorious form. "I wouldn't be sitting here if it was a good situation," Johnson told reporters. "I understand what I'm up against, but I'm here, and I'm here for the long haul, and eventually we will turn it around."

ABOUT THE THUNDER (32-25): Oklahoma City added toughness in the interior with Gibson and shooting on the perimeter in McDermott in the trade with the Bulls. Another development is that backup center Enes Kanter returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since undergoing forearm surgery on Jan. 27, and coach Billy Donovan said a determination of whether Kanter can play Friday will be made after Thursday's practice. "If we get in practice here and he's not able to play post defense because he can't put his forearm on guys and prevent a guy from backing down, it's gonna be pretty clear he's not playing Friday," Donovan told reporters. "If he's having a hard time going up in traffic with guys slapping and reaching at him and he's in pain, he's probably not gonna play."

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Lakers dropped their past nine visits to Oklahoma City.

2. Thunder All-Star PG Russell Westbrook has recorded 27 triple-doubles, four behind second-place Wilt Chamberlain (31 in 1967-68) as he pursues record-holder Oscar Robertson (41 in 1961-62).

3. Los Angeles rookie SF Brandon Ingram averaged just 3.7 points on 4-of-17 shooting in the last three games prior to the All-Star break.

PREDICTION: Thunder 116, Lakers 99
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
L.A. Lakers 19-39 L2 12-14 7-25 0-2 19-37 4-7 9-25
Oklahoma City 32-25 W1 20-8 12-17 3-1 29-24 6-3 19-14
Last Meeting
L.A. Lakers Oklahoma City
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/22/16 OKC 109 LAL 111 111 35 50.6 109 40 48.9
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
L.A. Lakers J. Clarkson 18 50.0 4
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 34 43.3 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
L.A. Lakers T. Black 6 2 4
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 8 3 5
Assists Player  
L.A. Lakers L. Williams 5
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 13
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
L.A. Lakers J. Clarkson 898 44.7 106
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 1838 42.2 511
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
L.A. Lakers J. Randle 463 102 361
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 608 104 504
Assists Player  
L.A. Lakers D. Russell 241
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 607
Quickchart Matchup
L.A. Lakers L.A. Lakers Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
L.A. Lakers Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 104.5 Points For
L.A. Lakers Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 106.0 Points Against
L.A. Lakers - FG% 44.4 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.9 FG%
L.A. Lakers - Reb 43.9 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 41.4 Reb
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  L.A. Lakers L.A. Lakers Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs L.A. Lakers - Points For 105.9 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs L.A. Lakers - Points Against 110.7 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 44.9 FG%
L.A. Lakers - FG% 48.0 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 46.2 Reb
L.A. Lakers - Reb 44.6 Reb