Thunder HC Billy Donovan on Lonzo Ball making 3-pointers: ‘We can’t be surprised’
The Oklahoma City Thunder absorbed an upset 138-128 overtime loss at home against Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night which would have been easier for Thunder head coach Billy Donovan to accept if it weren’t for his team’s pathetic perimeter defense.
An obviously frustrated Donovan spoke in front of reporters following the game and lamented about his team’s perceived lackadaisical effort in defending against the Lakers’ 3-point shot, especially mentioning Lonzo Ball during his monologue, per Royce Young of ESPN.
A very long Billy Donovan postgame press conference just wrapped up and he was very direct on OKC’s defensive issues and how the 3-point line is the culprit. One thing he said as a reference was “we can’t be surprised” when Lonzo Ball pulls up and hits a 3.
Although the Thunder more than doubled their season average of 10.7 3-pointers made per game by sinking 22 treys on 54 attempts, they allowed the Lakers to keep in step with them and steal a win by allowing Los Angeles to knock down 19 triples and shoot 50.5 percent from the field.
The Lakers are in the bottom half of the league when it comes to 3-point shooting, as they are only 20th overall with 10.0 treys per contest on an inefficient 34.5 percent conversion rate, but those numbers did not reflect the strokes Ball and company were having in Oklahoma City. Ball finished with 18 points while going 4-for-7 from distance, while Kyle Kuzma exploded for 32 points on the strength of a 7-for-12 shooting from deep.
The Thunder will look to bounce back on Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers on the road, while the Lakers seek to win their third game in a row on a date with the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center also on Saturday.