Thunder use fourth quarter to send Lakers home, win 106-90
Oklahoma City used an 8-0 run to open up the fourth quarter with Kobe Bryant on the bench and never looked back. The Thunder closed out the series with a 106-90 win sending the Lakers back to Los Angeles to regroup for the offseason.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points, while Russell Westbrook scored 12 of his 28 points in the third quarter. James Harden chipped in 17 points on six of 10 shooting and eight rebounds.
According to nba.com, Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks said his team played unbelievable.
“We made shots and it came down to defense,” Brooks said. “Kobe made shots that you can’t defend so give him credit because he played a great game.”
Bryant led the Lakers with 42 points as he was a one-man show for them. Pau Gasol who had been criticized throughout the series for his lack of effort finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Unlike the Thunder, the Lakers did not have a supporting cast to play with Bryant. Gasol and Andrew Bynum were not enough to chip in a lot of value. Durant on the other hand had Westbrook and Harden to compile added pressure on the Lakers.
Take away the fourth quarter run along with some technical foul shots and the energy on Los Angeles’s side may have been different.
“I felt that Kevin and Russell could handle the extra four to five minutes to open the fourth quarter,” Brooks said.
The Lakers were playing well up until Metta World Peace committed a flagrant one foul on Thabo Sefolosha, along with a technical foul leading to two free throw attempts. Then Bryant was also charged with a technical foul, while jawing at the referees adding another free throw attempt. The lead after the charity stripe points was only three, but it played a huge factor in the attitude from the Lakers the rest of the way.
At the end of the day, youth was certainly in revolt. The age and experience of the Lakers did not help this year with the athleticism and talent the Thunder possessed.
Oklahoma City also out rebounded Los Angeles 51-35, and had 20 assists compared to the Lakers 12.
The Thunder will now face another big trio of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. Game one is set for Sunday with a tip time of 8 p.m. eastern.
By: Tyler Scott
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