Found May 17, 2012 on
Fox Sports West:
Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Lakers
The stars are going to be stars in the Thunder-Lakers series. Oklahoma City fields All-Stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, while Los Angeles suits up Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
The difference in the Western Conference semifinals could end up being the ancillary pieces. The rotation for Thunder coach Scott Brooks is legitimately 10 deep and he doesn't mind extending that out if needed.
Lakers skipper Mike Brown is stretching it to get to eight. So besides the Thunder's youth and athleticism, OKC can come at the Lakers with sheer bodies.
"We're confident with the guys we have on our team," reserve big man Nick Collison said. "We have a lot of guys that can play. We have guys that haven't gotten the opportunity that are capable of playing well for us.
"We have faith in all of our guys, that's what we practice and everybody practices the same amount of reps. It's important. Playoffs are a long haul. It's a marathon with so many games, and things come up where different guys have to step up and play."
It was a total team effort Tuesday in Game 2, as the Thunder rallied from seven down in the fourth quarter to beat the Lakers 77-75 and take a 2-0 lead. The best-of-7 series shifts to the Staples Center in Los Angeles for two games Friday and Saturday.
Brooks can put a complete second unit on the floor, led by James Harden, which allows for all of the Thunder's starters to maximize their effort for whatever minutes they're out there.
"I have a lot of confidence in our guys, even the guys that don't play," Brooks said. "They work every day and they put themselves in a position, if they ever get called, that they're going to have success. We like playing nine or 10 guys. The Lakers are a big team, so you have to throw a lot of guys out there."
Big rally needed to win Game 2
--After scoring a 29-point blowout in Game 1, Thunder players knew not to take the Lakers for granted Wednesday night. What they found was a fight in Game 2.
Oklahoma City needed to rally from seven points down with two minutes left to win 77-75. Despite trailing, the Thunder didn't panic down the stretch.
"That's the good thing about having a little bit of experience because we realize that," Nick Collison said. "We realize each game is a different thing. Each one only counts for one point and you have to get four to move on. I think we've done a good job. We will do a good job of not getting too high or too low. We know how good the Lakers are."
--Taking care of the basketball was a huge issue for the Thunder during the regular season. Oklahoma City averaged 16.3 turnovers per game, which was the worst in the NBA.
That's not been the case in the Thunder's 6-0 playoff run so far. Oklahoma City has only 17 turnovers in two games against the Lakers, including a franchise playoff low four in Game 1.
OKC is losing the ball just 11.3 times per game in this postseason.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They won't quit. That's not in their DNA. They're not wired that way and if they were, they wouldn't be here. We're not going to win every game but we're going to fight to the last second of the game and we did that tonight." -- Coach Scott Brooks, on the Thunder rallying to win Game 2.
ROSTER REPORT PLAYER NOTES:
--F Kevin Durant took only 15 shots and scored a modest 22 points, at least by his standards, but his final attempt proved the difference in Oklahoma City taking a 2-0 series lead. Durant's one-handed, driving floater with 18 seconds left capped a game-ending rally against the Lakers. Durant made 11 shots, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out a team-high five assists.
--G Thabo Sefolosha didn't guard Kobe Bryant for all of Game 2, considering Bryant played 43 minutes to Sefolosha's 20. But while Sefolosha was on the floor, he hounded Bryant, who finished the game shooting just 9-of-25 from the floor.
--C Kendrick Perkins was back in the starting lineup Wednesday despite being hobbled in Game 1. The veteran aggravated a hip injury he suffered in the first round against Dallas. Perkins played 32 minutes and grabbed five rebounds in game 2.
BEST OF MAXIM
OKLAHOMA CITY Thunder forward Kevin Durant had been over-passing all night, frustratingly so, giving the ball up on much easier shots than this obstacle course that lay ahead of him now.
So pass seemed like a good guess.
Instead, KD drove. He drove without fear of what if, without doubt of himself, without the burden of previous failures which do exist. It ended with him floating...
It seemed as though the Los Angeles Lakers would steal a win in OKC, but when the Lakers started a late 4th quarter meltdown, Thunder took advantage and went on a 9-0 run. Thanks to Kevin Durant’s game-winning jumper in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinals with less than 20 seconds to go, OKC leads [...]
If the Lakers had any hope at this series it dissapeared last night with this shot. Maybe if Mike Brown wasn’t the Coach then I would have some faith that Kobe could go all Kobe, but until The Black Mamba officially becomes the player-coach – the Lakers are going to find themselves going through stretches like they did in the end of the 4th quarter.
Can anyone explain to me...
Although the Los Angeles Lakers won game 3 99-96 Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant had the play of the night.
Late in the 2nd quarter Kendrick Perkins set a pick for Durant and the three point line and Durant did the rest. Durant drove the middle of the lane and threw and dunk down on the Lakers Jordan Hill. Durant threw down a monster dunk with his right hand...
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 22 points and rattled in the go-ahead basket on a baseline runner with 18 seconds left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder scored the final nine points to rally for a 77-75 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City trailed by seven with 2 minutes left before surging back...
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Los Angeles Lakers gave everything they had, and it still wasn't enough. The Oklahoma City Thunder outlasted the Lakers 77-75 in a hard-fought, defensive battle in Game 2 on Wednesday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Kevin Durant hit a baseline runner for the go-ahead bucket with 18.6 seconds to go, then made a foul shot with 0.3 seconds remaining...
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers had the fight to the finish Friday night in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series against Oklahoma City that they lacked in Game 2. The Lakers rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minutes and earned a 99-96 victory over the Thunder, avoiding the deadly 3-0 series deficit. Kobe Bryant scored 36 points, hitting all 18 of his free throw...
Even though Kevin Durant was the Oklahoma City Thunder player who finished second in the NBA MVP voting, it was Russell Westbrook who really crushed the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. So the Lakers came back in Game 2 Wednesday night with a new plan against Westbrook: No more Kobe Bryant trying to stay in front of Westbrook and fight solo through...
The Oklahoma City Thunder came into Game 1 against the Lakers after a layoff of over a week.
Many were calling into question whether or not the young Thunder team would be affected by this long layoff, but a 119-90 win over the Lakers proved that they were only helped by the time off.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook proved to be way too much for the Lakers to handle in Game 1...
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers had the fight to the finish Friday night in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series against Oklahoma City that they lacked in Game 2. The Lakers rallied from a five-point deficit in the final minutes and earned a 99-96 victory over the Thunder, avoiding the so-far-always deadly 3-0 series deficit. Kobe Bryant scored 36 points, hitting all 18...
The stars are going to be stars in the Thunder-Lakers series. Oklahoma City fields All-Stars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, while Los Angeles suits up Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The difference in the Western Conference semifinals could end up being the ancillary pieces. The rotation for Thunder coach Scott Brooks is legitimately 10 deep and he doesn't...