Quantcast 2012 NBA Western Conference Playoffs: Thunder vs Lakers - Game 3


Kobe’s terrific performance gets Lakers by Thunder



Kobe Bryant took total control of this game as he led the Lakers with 36 points and a perfect 18 of 18 from the free throw line helped Los Angeles beat Oklahoma City 99-96. Bryant hit two key free throws to help the Lakers take a three-point lead, before Kevin Durant missed a contested three-pointer with three seconds left on the clock.

Oklahoma City now leads the series 2-1.

The Thunder had their chances blowing small leads down the stretch. Free throws however were the main difference in the game as the Lakers finished 41 of 42, while the Thunder went 26 of 28 from the charity stripe.

Durant led Oklahoma City with 31 points, while Russell Westbrook and James Harden added 21 respectively. The Thunder also shot a uncharacteristic four of 17 from beyond the arc.

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The Lakers turned the ball over 15 times, but it did not come back to bite them this time around.

The game did get chippy in the second quarter when Russell Westbrook and Metta World Peace fought for a loose ball. World Peace ended up kneeling down on top of Westbrook, but all it drew was a double technical foul on both of them.

Besides Bryant, the Lakers had five other players in double figures. Andrew Bynum added 15 points, Steve Blake, Ramon Sessions, and Pau Gasol chipped in 12, and World Peace posted 10. Bryant also added seven rebounds and six assists, while Bynum had 11 rebounds giving him a double-double.

It was all Los Angeles early as they scampered out of the gate with an 8-0 run to start the game. Oklahoma City did not back down however, as they only trailed by three points, 50-47 at halftime.

Throughout the second half it was close the whole way through, but Bryant was just on fire, showcasing a typical playoff performance that he has always been used to in the Staples Center.

With the Thunder taking the first two games in their house, the Lakers are halfway to matching it. Game four is tonight at the Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. eastern.




By: Tyler Scott
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer

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