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Thunder notebook: Scouting the Lakers

By Mike Baldwin, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: March 26, 2010 at 7:47 am •  Published: March 26, 2010

The Lakers are riding a seven-game winning streak. When they were playing so-so by their standards (9-7 from Feb. 1 through March 7) the Lakers were hearing: "What’s wrong?” With Dallas creeping up for the top seed, the Lakers got on a roll to all but sew up homecourt advantage in the Western Conference.

"They’re the defending champs with one of the greatest players (Kobe Bryant) of all time and the greatest coach (Phil Jackson) of all time,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "They’re built to win now and for years to come.”

Jeff Green said the Thunder is encouraged by two close losses to the Lakers, the last one a 111-108 setback Dec. 22 in the Staples Center.

"It’s going to be a tough game, but they’re a different team right now playing without (Andrew) Bynum,” Green said. "It’s going to be a different game. They’re gearing up for the playoffs. It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere.”

WESTBROOK’S MINI SLUMP
Hampered by a stomach virus last Sunday, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook says he’s 100 percent but has slumped the past week. Over the last four games, Westbrook has shot 29.4 percent and averaged 6.8 points and 3.0 turnovers.