Here’s the good news: You get to boo Metta World Peace at least one more time.
But man, what a disappointing loss. Two five-point leads in the fourth quarter with a great chance to go up 3-0 in the series and essentially end the thing. It’s the first playoff loss this season and it probably shouldn’t have been. The Thunder were better than the Lakers tonight. Just not on the scoreboard.
The Lakers truly won the game at the free throw line going an amazing 41-42 from the stripe (41-42!), while scoring 49 points in the second half on only 11 made shots. Think about that. Not even Dirk can pull off that kind of efficiency. That’s 4.45 points per made bucket. Oklahoma City played a solid game and it appeared as Russell Westbrook hammered home a dunk with 2:54 remaining to put the Thunder up 92-87, that they were one away from the Western Conference Finals.
One play though sticks out in my mind that was extremely pivotal, and no, it’s not Joey Crawford blowing his whistle 500 times. With 52 seconds left, the Thunder forced Kobe into a difficult jumper that clanged off the rim. Pau Gasol grabbed the offensive rebound. Kobe then missed another jumper. Steve Blake corralled the offensive rebound. The Thunder were scrambled and Westbrook wound up on Kobe and got duped by a nice pump fake by Bryant. What resulted was two free throws from Kobe and a 95-94 lead for the Lakers, a lead they didn’t lose. Keep Reading…