Oklahoma City 103, L.A. Lakers 100
Kevin Durant buried the go-ahead 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds remaining as visiting Oklahoma City took a commanding 3-1 lead over Los Angeles in their Western Conference second-round series.
Durant’s long-distance dagger over Lakers swingman Metta World Peace capped a 31-point, 13-rebound performance. Russell Westbrook added a team-high 37 points as the Thunder ended a 14-game playoff losing streak to the Lakers in Los Angeles.
With the score tied in the final minute, the teams traded sloppy turnovers: Westbrook fell and fumbled the ball, while Durant picked off an errant pass at the other end. Durant then ragged time off the clock before coolly knocking down a 25-footer from the top of the arc, silencing the capacity crowd at the Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant misfired on a 3-pointer at the other end – capping a 2-for-9 fourth-quarter shooting effort – and Thunder guard James Harden secured the rebound to put the game away.
Bryant led all scorers with 38 points for the Lakers, who will look to stay alive with a win in Game 5 Monday night in Oklahoma City.
Bryant had 16 first-half points – highlighted by sensational back-to-back layups to end the second quarter – as the Lakers led 56-46 at the break. He added 10 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the third quarter to keep Los Angeles in front by double digits, but Durant responded with a 3-pointer following a Westbrook miss as Oklahoma City went on a brief run to trim the deficit to 74-67.
Bryant quelled the Thunder surge with a tough layup following an offensive rebound, then knocked down a long 2-pointer at the buzzer to finish with 15 points in the quarter as the Lakers carried an 80-71 edge into the fourth.
World Peace preserved the lead with Bryant on the bench, drilling a pair of 3-pointers to make it an 11-point game – but the Thunder hung around, riding nine straight points from Westbrook to close to within four with just over four minutes remaining.
Durant completed the comeback with a mid-range jumper and a Kendrick Perkins putback of a Westbrook miss – Perkins’ only field goal of the game – capped a 20-5 run that gave Oklahoma City a 98-96 advantage
If the Lakers come back to the Staples Center the game will be on May 28th. We have Lakers tickets for that game in stock now.