2010 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference
Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (8) @ OKC
Round 1 - Game 3
Lakers lead 2-1
First of all, what a game. Secondly, congrats to Oklahoma City and their rowdy fans. The fans came out tonight as thunderous as the Thunder and truly deserve the game ball. The Thunder roll over the Lakers 101-96.
Okay now to the game...pattern shows that the Lakers have started each playoff game in this series very strong beating OKC in the 1st quarter, having them play in catch-up mode from the beginning. Kobe hit several crowd silencing 3 pointers throughout the game that momentarily broke the Thunder's momentum but his 24 points were just not enough. D. Fish was impressive tonight hitting his shots right from the get-go, setting the tempo with his teammates following. We need his veteran leadership and offensive contribution in the upcoming playoff rounds against the better teams from the West (assuming we pass OKC). The entire first unit played well but OKC simply played better. The Spaniard did his usual damage by crashing the boards and using his height to score easy buckets under the rim and in transition. Gasol has the ability to find himself in open inside gaps for the open pass and easy put back baskets. This has been very damaging for the Thunder all series long. OKC needs to box out Gasol. Pau had 17 pts. w/ 15 rebs. Artest played well but he needs to seriously either grow smaller feet or look at the 3 point line because 2 or 3 long range shots should have counted for 3 as his toenails were on the line.
As for the Thunder tonight, Harden came out of his shell and scored 18 points to help the Thunder come out victorious. Durant was cold in the early going but just went off in the 2nd half. He ended up grabbing 19 boards with 29 points. Westbrook and his quick speed around defenders hurt the Lakers. His fast step back hesitation dribble to still the defense for either an open jump shot or a penetrating dunk was the difference in tonight's game. He ended the night with 27 points. The second half was really where Oklahoma City destroyed L.A. They took advantage of Kobe resting and sprayed L.A. with their perimeter assault and slashing offense leading to crowd deafening dunks and 3 pointers. Westbrook was just too damn quick for any Laker to guard and Kevin Durant was on FIRE!!! You could have put Manute Bol on Shawn Bradley's shoulders to defend Durant and Durant still would've found a way to score. Westbrook and Durant in the second half took the game with their production alone and with the crowd behind them, they were simply unstoppable.
Click on the link below for tonight's box score courtesy of Yahoo Sports!
Lakers vs Thunder - Game 3 Box Score