Paul George happy with Thunder, not sure about going to Lakers

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Oklahoma City played without All-Star guard Russell Westbrook and forward Carmelo Anthony, with both players sidelined due to ankle injuries.

The Lakers were also short-handed, after a trade with Cleveland sent Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr.to the Cavaliers, that will eventually bring Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye, plus the Cavs first round pick in 2018 to the Lakers. "We know it's the business of basketball and I pray for the best on their journeys".

The Thunder are playing the Lakers for the second time in five days. The previous two games between the teams saw the Thunder roll to wins by an average of more than 30 points, including a 133-96 blowout victory at Staples Center on January 3.

Westbrook had 34 points, nine rebounds and nine assists against Golden State, and forward Paul George had 38 points and six steals.

Oklahoma City had been starting rookie Terrance Ferguson at shooting guard since Andre Roberson went down with a season-ending knee injury on January 27, but coach Billy Donovan started small forward Josh Huestis in place of Ferguson on Tuesday because of the length of Golden State's wings.

Raymond Felton was expected to start at point guard in place of Westbrook, while Jerami Grant was likely to take Anthony's place in the starting lineup.

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"With as hard as it was to put the ball in the basket, we kept trying to battle and fight defensively and did some good things", Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

George scored 22 first-half points but the Thunder trailed 52-46 at the break.

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Kuzma declined to say if he tried to sell George on joining the Lakers during the game. I'm happy with playing with Russ, happy with playing with Melo, and this organisation.

The Thunder returns home to host Memphis Sunday at 6:00 pm at Chesapeake Arena.

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