Quantcast 2010 Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder vs Lakers

 

Thunder Push Back, Top Lakers in First Home Playoff Game

 

 

Thunder Coach, Scott Brooks, was honored before Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals for being voted coach of the year. During this past season Brooks has coached the youngest team in the NBA to reach the playoffs in only their second season in OKC. Brooks’ coaching was on display when he switched Durant to cover Kobe. Durant, at 6 foot 9, has a 3 inch advantage over Bryant who looked tired down the stretch of game three and bothered at shooting over Durant. Bryant has averaged over 38 minutes per game in his 14 th season, more than his career average of 36 minutes per game.

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In a game where Bryant didn’t reach the free throw line once, he relied on his outside shooting, forcing up 11 from beyond the arc, only making four, and scoring 24 in the game. Durant didn’t have his A-game either from a shooting perspective, only 1 for 6 from 3 point range, and 8 for 24 elsewhere. Durant, however, seemed determined to get Oklahoma City their first playoff win, getting whistles when he needed them, Durant was nearly flawless in 13 free throw attempts. The youngest scoring champion and his point guard, Russell Westbrook, accounted for 22 of the Thunders final 23 points. Arizona State alum, James Harden, added 18 points off the bench, single handedly outscoring the Lakers’ bench.

The Lakers featured a balanced attack throughout the first three quarters with all five starters in double digits, however deferred to Kobe in crunch time, who shot a dismal 2 for 10 scoring only 4 points. A question mark for the Lakers going into game 4 is Lamar Odom. Odom for the most part has been ineffective in the past three games only scoring 19 points through three games. The Lakers rely on Odom to create mismatches with other teams power forwards, however he hasn’t gotten the chance to do so only clocking an average of 24 minutes per game, down from 31 minutes per game during the regular season, which saw Odom nearly average a double-double.



The Lakers have not lost consecutive playoff games since losing to the Celtics in the NBA championship in 2008. The Thunders’ task becomes more daunting when considering Phil Jackson coached teams have never lost a playoff series after leading the series 2-0.

 

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By: Robert Crawford
ProBasketball-fans.com Staff Writer


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