Durant, Thunder try to put away Lakers
The Thunder stole another one from the Lakers on Saturday, getting a go-ahead
three-pointer from Kevin Durant with 13.7 seconds left en route to a 103-100
comeback win to take a 3-1 series advantage with Game 5 scheduled for Monday
night in OKC.
The Thunder, who scored the final nine points to snatch a victory in Game 2,
trailed by as many as 13 in Game 4 but closed with a 25-9 run to put the
Lakers on the brink.
Durant finished with 31 points, Russell Westbrook had a team-high 37 and the
Oklahoma City franchise earned its first road playoff win over the Lakers in
its last 15 tries.
“Westbrook played a heck of a game, especially in the fourth quarter,” said
Lakers coach Mike Brown. “That’s when we usually step up defensively, but we
didn’t do it tonight.”
Kobe Bryant, who scored eight of his team’s final 10 points in Friday’s Game 3
win, had 38 to pace Los Angeles.
Los Angeles was in control for nearly the entire game. The Thunder never led
by more than two points until Durant’s go-ahead three. The Lakers, meanwhile,
were on top for the entire third quarter and matched their largest lead of the
game early in the fourth when Jordan Hill connected on a hook shot.
From there Oklahoma City methodically chipped away.
With the game even at 98 and the seconds winding down Durant, the NBA’s
regular-season scoring leader, dribbled upcourt, assessed the defense and
pulled up from the top of the key and buried the triple for a 101-98 lead.
James Harden, who finished with 12 points, made a pair of free throws and
Bryant made an inconsequential jumper at the buzzer to seal the final result.
“I wanted to run the shot clock down and get the last shot,” said Durant. “I
saw (Metta World Peace) back up a little. I just try to do the best I can to
finish the game.”
Oklahoma City earned its first road playoff win against the Lakers since April
22, 1980, when the franchise was located in Seattle and is now in position to
take a series from L.A. for the first time since 1979.
The Lakers, who were behind 2-0 in this series heading into this past weekend,
are just 2-17 all-time in playoff series when facing such a deficit.
These teams are very familiar with each other, having played three times
during the regular season. Oklahoma City won the first two contests by 15
points (at Chesapeake Energy Arena) and nine (Staples Center) before the
Lakers rebounded to win the final meeting in Hollywood by eight in double-
In the playoffs this rivalry dates back to 1978 when the Oklahoma City
franchise was known as the SuperSonics. The Sonics beat the Lakers in 1978 and
’79 when they reached the NBA Finals in both years. The franchise hasn’t
beaten them since, losing in 1980, ’87, ’89, ’95 and ’98 as well as 2010 as
Game 6 of the set, if necessary, is scheduled for Wednesday in Los Angeles.
- Pacers clamp down late, top Knicks to advance
- Pacers’ Hill to play in Game 6
- NBA Playoff Preview – San Antonio vs. Memphis
- Knicks once again fight for playoff lives against Pacers
- Stretching the Field: Grizzlies are in uncharted woods
- Stretching the Field: Grizzlies are in unchartered woods
- Spurs take out Warriors for trip to Western Conference finals
- Knicks down Pacers, avoid elimination
- Knicks try to stave off elimination against Pacers
- Spurs hope to knock out Warriors in Game 6