Thunder Rally Puts Lakers On Edge Of Elimination, Pointing Fingers

The Thunder came from 13 down in the fourth quarter to down the Lakers, 103-100. The win gives the Thunder a 3-1 series lead.

  • Live
16 Total Updates since May 19, 2012
  • Important 4
  • Updates 13
  • Articles 3
  • All Updates 16

Kobe Bryant Blames Pau Gasol For Lakers' Game 4 Loss To Thunder

With less than a minute to go in the Lakers' pivotal Game 4 against the Thunder, Pau Gasol rolled from a screen to an open space about 16 feet from the rim, and Kobe Bryant fed him a nice pass. But instead of popping the soft midrange jumper he used to help the Lakers to two titles, Gasol looked up and tried to throw a cross-court pass to Metta World Peace; Kevin Durant intercepted it, and the turnover would lead to his game-winning three.

For all of this, Gasol got to be the recipient of Bryant's latest blast of criticism:

"Just a bad read on Pau's part," Bryant said.

...

"Pau's got to be more assertive," Bryant said. "He's the guy they're leaving [open]. When he's catching the ball, he's looking to pass. He's got to be aggressive. He's got to shoot the ball or drive the ball to the basket. He will be next game."

Kobe taking his teammates to task is nothing new: he famously ripped Andrew Bynum, pressuring Lakers management to get him out of town or bring help to the Los Angeles roster while struggling in the hinterland in the post-Shaquille O'Neal era. He's also criticized Gasol before, and indirectly criticized all of his teammates midway through the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs while praising World Peace. And Gasol has struggled against the Thunder this series, never topping 14 points in a game and posting an anemic 10 points and five rebounds in Game 4.

But Kobe doing that on the brink of elimination — against a team that the Lakers have faltered against twice in the clutch, blowing late leads in Game 2 and Game 4 — while struggling from the field (a woeful 37-for-96 in this series) is also clever legerdemain on his part. Why blame Kobe, always candid with the media if not always precisely honest, when he's designing a convenient narrative that doesn't require blaming him?

For more on the Lakers, head over to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Thunder, head over to Welcome To Loud City.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Continue

Lakers Should Trade Andrew Bynum ... So He Doesn't Go To Waste

Trade Andrew Bynum? If the All-Star center ever wants to truly blossom, he needs teammates who won't ignore him in the fourth quarter of must-win games. He needs to get away from Kobe Bryant.

Continue

Lakers Vs. Thunder, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 4: Thunder Complete Comeback, Lead Series 3-1

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 21 fourth quarter points to help the Thunder erase a 13-point deficit and win Game 4 103-100. The win gives Oklahoma City a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

With the game tied at 98, Durant hit what ended up being the game winning 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds to play. The Thunder trailed by 13 points with 8:02 to play, but went on a 25-9 run to end the game and take a commanding lead in the series. Westbrook scored 23 points in the second half and finished with a team-high 37.

Los Angeles faded down the stretch, making just 7-of-22 shots in the fourth quarter. Kobe Bryant finished with a game-high 38 points but made just 2-of-10 shots in the fourth quarter. Andrew Bynum scored 18 points, but just four in the second half. It was a crucial loss for the Lakers who now must win three straight games to avoid elimination.

For more on the Lakers, head over to Silver Screen And Roll and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the Thunder, head over to Welcome To Loud City.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.