Kobe Bryant scored 36 points, including 14 in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers won Game 3 against the Thunder, 99-96. The Thunder lead the best-of-seven game series, 2-1.
The Lakers made 41-42 free throw attempts, led by Bryant's 18-18 from the line. Los Angeles made 17-18 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. All five Laker starters scored in double figures and Steve Blake scored 12 points off the bench. Pau Gasol had 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Andrew Bynum also finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points to go with 11 rebounds.
Oklahoma City was also excellent from the free throw line, making 26-of-28 attempts. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 31 points. Russell Westbrook scored 21 points to go with nine rebounds while James Harden scored 21 points off the bench. Durant missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with four seconds to play.
What do you do when your team takes a five-point lead in the fourth quarter of a road game? Well if you are this Oklahoma City fan, you pull out every celebration you know and do them while wearing an oversized fake beard and headband. Via @cjzero.
First you shoot the finger pistols, then you holster them, then you fist pump for the exclamation point. The whole routine clearly has the Lakers fan to the right disgusted.
During the first two games of this series, Ramon Sessions scored four total points on 2-of-10 shooting. He already has 12 points in Game 3, making 5-of-8 shots.
Sessions also has four assists in Game 3 after having three combined assists in Game 1 and Game 2. He has attacked the paint more in Game 3 than he did earlier in the series. He is currently the second leading scorer for the Lakers, trailing Kobe Bryant's 13 points.
In what was a physical first half, the Lakers took a 50-47 lead into halftime of Game 3 against the Thunder. The Lakers are trying to avoid falling into a 3-0 series hole.
Kobe Bryant is the leading scorer for the Lakers with 13 points. He made 3-of-9 field goal attempts, but did most of his damage at the free throw line, making all seven of his first half free throws. Ramon Sessions is also in double figures with 10 points.
The Thunder have been paced by their big three of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Westbrook leads all scorers with 14 points while Durant has 13 and Harden 12 off the bench. Oklahoma City has gotten 18 points from it's bench compared to seven bench points for the Lakers.
Westbrook dove on the floor for a loose ball before Wold Peace tried to tie him up for a jump ball. The Thunder called a timeout, and as the players were separating, it appeared World Peace dropped a knee into Westbrook. Westbrook then reacted and the two players were separated. It was hard to tell if there was intent behind the knee or if it was just a result of World Peace trying to untangle from Westbrook. In any event, Westbrook took exception.
Both Westbrook and World Peace were assessed technical fouls. It's possible some of Westbrook's reaction stems from World Peace's previous incident with Thunder guard James Harden. World Peace was suspended for seven games after he elbowed Harden in the head during a regular season game.
After trailing by 12 points in the first quarter, the Thunder have cut the Lakers' lead to four thanks in large part to the play of James Harden.
Harden leads all scorers with 12 points in his 10 minutes of play off the bench. Since he entered the game, Harden has attacked the Lakers defense, drawing three fouls. He's made 3-of-7 shots from the floor and 5-of-6 free throw attempts.
The Thunder have needed Harden's hot streak as Kevin Durant has not made a basket since the 5:03 mark of the first quarter.
Playing their first home game of the series, the Lakers got off to a quick start and take an eight-point lead into the second quarter.
Los Angeles started the game on an 8-0 run and stretched the lead to 12 before Oklahoma City mounted a small comeback. The Lakers' starters scored all 23 first quarter points for Los Angeles, including six by Kobe Bryant.
Oklahoma City is yet to make a 3-point attempt, going 0-for-5 in the first quarter.
Holding a 2-0 series lead, the Thunder have started Game 3 cold from the floor.
Oklahoma City has made just 3-of-13 shots from the floor so far in the first quarter. If you exclude Kevin Durant's 2-of-4, the rest of the Thunder have combined to shoot 1-of-9. The Thunder's poor shooting combined with a hot start from the Lakers has put Oklahoma City in a double-digit hole.