Final

Los Angeles wins series 4-2 (Game 2 of 6)

Los Angeles wins series 4-2

Game 1: Sunday, April 18th
Thunder79Final
Lakers87
Game 2: Tuesday, April 20th
Thunder92Final
Lakers95
Game 3: Thursday, April 22nd
Lakers96Final
Thunder101
Game 4: Saturday, April 24th
Lakers89Final
Thunder110
Game 5: Tuesday, April 27th
Thunder87Final
Lakers111
Game 6: Friday, April 30th
Lakers95Final
Thunder94

Thunder 92

(50-32, 23-18 away)

Lakers 95

(57-25, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    10:30 PM ET, April 20, 2010

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    OKC 18 29 22 2392
    LAL 26 19 28 2295

    Top Performers

    Okc: K. Durant 32 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    LAL: K. Bryant 39 Pts, 5 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bryant keeps Thunder at bay in 4th as Lakers escape with 2-0 lead

    Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant had been waiting for a breakout game, the kind of high-scoring effort he's made his reputation on. He got it just in time.

    Playing with a broken finger, sore knee and bum ankle, Bryant scored 39 points, carrying the Lakers in the fourth quarter when they lost the lead three times, and Los Angeles beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 95-92 on Tuesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.

    Stalled In The Clutch

    Kevin Durant, the NBA's scoring champion, struggled in crunch time Tuesday when matched up with Kobe Bryant.

    Last 5 minutes of 4th quarter
    Durant Bryant
    Points 2 7
    FGs 0-for-3 1-for-3
    FTs 2-for-2 5-for-6
    TOs 2 0

    "What did Mark Twain say? Rumors of my demise or whatever," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who predicted before the game that Bryant would strongly return to form.

    Bryant was 13 of 15 from the free throw line, but just 12 of 28 from the floor in front of his dad Joe, who sat next to the Lakers' bench.

    "My free throws felt good," Bryant said. "I put in a lot, a lot of work over the last month fine-tuning my stroke and trying to get it back to being consistent."

    Beforehand, Jackson said he wanted Bryant to shoot better or take fewer shots. The NBA finals MVP made just 30 percent of his shots over his previous five games, having missed four of the final five of the regular season and hearing all the doubters.

    "After 13 years, you'd think they'd know better," Bryant said.

    Bryant ran off eight straight points the first time the Lakers fell behind by one, with the referees turning a 3-pointer into a 2-pointer that put them back in front by three.

    "He made the tough shots. He got to the free throw line and that's what great players do," said Kevin Durant, who led the Thunder with 32 points but had eight turnovers.

    Russell Westbrook added 19, making all eight of his free throws.

    The Thunder packed the paint and disrupted Lakers' big men Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, who had combined for 32 points and 25 rebounds in Game 1.

    This time, Gasol had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Bynum six points and 10 boards for the defending champions, who failed to sustain their strong start for the second straight game.

    "That was about as well as we can play and we came up a little short," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Two games in a row we gave the effort defensively. We're still trying to figure out how to win these close games."

    Game 3 is Thursday in Oklahoma City. The Lakers are 39-1 all-time when winning the first two games of a best-of-seven series.

    "That place is going to be rocking and rolling," Bryant said. "The last time we were there they did a number on us."

    The Thunder's defense kept them in the game, with 17 blocked shots. Serge Ibaka had seven, with six other players getting at least one.

    McMenamin: Back To Basics

    Kobe Bryant returned to fundamentals in the Lakers' Game 2 victory, writes Dave McMenamin. Story

    "Our effort was phenomenal, how hard we played on the defensive end," Durant said. "A lot of people didn't even think we could play with these guys."

    Bryant scored 15 points in the fourth, but sent the crowd into an anguished groan when he missed the first of two free throws with 15 seconds left. He made the second to keep Los Angeles ahead 94-92.

    Durant missed a 3-pointer and Gasol got fouled, but he also missed the first with 7 seconds left, keeping the Thunder's hopes alive. Gasol hit the second, and then Jeff Green, who had 12 points, missed a 3-pointer as time expired.

    "We were right there," Green said. "We haven't had our best offensive game or defensive game, still allowing second-chance points, but we're still there when it comes to the last few minutes."

    The Thunder led three times, but Bryant twice brought the Lakers back, the last time tying the game at 88 on two free throws. The game was decided at the line over the final 2:20, with the Thunder forced to foul while missing from the perimeter.

    Markazi: Thunder Defenseless

    The Thunder's defensive effort was not enough as they head home winless, writes Arash Markazi. Story

    The Lakers shot 37 percent, a stat Jackson called "horrendous."

    "We still have to shoot much better to beat them in Oklahoma," he said.

    The Lakers regained the edge in the third quarter, although not by much. Their largest lead was six and it dwindled to 73-69 going into the final 12 minutes. Durant was called for goaltending on the Lakers' last basket or the Thunder would've trailed by two.

    With every starter except Bynum on the bench to start the second quarter, the Lakers extended their lead to 37-26. But the Thunder outscored them 21-8 to lead 47-45 going into halftime, despite Westbrook picking up his third foul midway through the period.

    Durant had nine points in the spurt, with he and Green hitting back-to-back 3-pointers. The Lakers were limited to 33 percent shooting, with Bryant going 2 of 7. The Thunder had nine blocked shots in the half.

    Bryant's jumper hit the rim and went in to tie the game at 45 before Eric Maynor beat the shot clock on a fadeaway jumper, giving Oklahoma City its first halftime lead of the series.

    The Lakers owned the first quarter in a repeat of their strong start to Game 1. They outscored the Thunder 26-18, with Bryant scoring eight of their first 13 points. The Thunder shot 29 percent from the floor.

    Game notes


    The Lakers unveiled a bronze statue of late announcer Chick Hearn outside Staples Center before the game. ... Craig Calloway of Compton hit a halfcourt shot between the third and fourth quarters and won $235,000. Jackson saw it, interrupted his TV interview, smiled and said, "Somebody made a shot. It wasn't us." ... Celeb sightings: Charlize Theron, David Beckham, Kid Rock, Jack Nicholson, David Spade, Adam Levine, Andy Garcia, Minnesota Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis, and Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    OKC
    LAL
    Points 92 95
    FGM-FGA 29-74 (.392) 33-88 (.375)
    3PM-3PA 5-19 (.263) 6-22 (.273)
    FTM-FTA 29-33 (.879) 23-32 (.719)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-37 19-49
    Assists 13 20
    Turnovers 17 16
    Steals 9 9
    Blocks 17 3
    Fast Break Points 11 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (1/0) 26 (2/0)
    Largest Lead 4 11

    Top Performers

    Oklahoma City
    Los Angeles
    Kevin Durant Durant
    Points: 32
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 4
    Kobe Bryant Bryant
    Points: 39
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0