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Thunder, lightning: The way the Lakers won was so frightening

February 24, 2009 |  8:43 pm

Well, maybe more "mildly jittery" than "frightening."  After all, the Thunder being referenced are Kobe of the Oklahoma City variety, a squad not necessarily known for pulling upsets.  Let's be honest.  They rarely win (particularly this month).  Thus, I can't truly claim to have been "worried" about the Lakers losing.  But stranger things have happened, so along those lines, the Lakers better knock, knock, knock on wood they didn't let a horrendous third quarter prevent them from coming out on top 107-93

After staking themselves a cushion of one dozen to better enjoy some halftime Gatorade and orange wedges, the purple and gold pushed it to sixteen, then saw their starters get a little careless, followed up by a bench mob that grew straight up "that former Stone Temple Pilots singer on a six-day bender" sloppy.  Offensive execution became non-existent, which led to misses and bad fouls... which led to a lead reaching as precarious a state as one point... which led to Kobe Bryant eventually back on the floor and taking over. 

Between the 9:14 and 6:31 mark in the fourth, The Mamba notched ten points of his 36 total points, restoring a sense of order to the proceedings that was never again threatened.  Derek Fisher hit a pair of "Seriously, we're done screwing around" shots in the last few minutes for good measure, Luke Walton had a solid 11/5/4 and Oklahoma City managed just 42% from the field, reflective of how their mistakes (like, says, 16 turnovers) benefited OKC more than the 13-44 squad's own skills.   But in the end, the box score equals W #47, which is more important than any style points accrued along the way.

Finally, congratulations are in order to Kobe not only for a terrific game, but for passing Adrian Dantley and taking ownership of the 19th spot on the all-time scoring list. Fun in and of itself, but even more so when you take into account a few dipsy-doodle shots Bryant canned to make history.  My personal favorite was him dribbling just along side the paint to meet Kevin Durant, then a side dribble to separate from the youngster, followed by a double pump J through the Longhorn's arms after a pretty good recovery.  Teacher taking it to a student whose game he's praised quite a bit.