Caught in the Web: Plenty to digest in Lakers' 101-96 Game 3 loss to Oklahoma City
Game stories--The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes Kobe Bryant's poor fourth-quarter performance in the Lakers' 101-96 Game 3 loss to Oklahoma City. But Lakers Coach Phil Jackson didn't blame the loss on Bryant.
--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding notes that the Lakers disagreed on what led to the loss.--The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry argues Kevin Durant's fourth-quarter dominance served as a steppingstone toward his overall development.
--NBA.com's Randy Renner focuses on Durant's defense.
--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford explains how the Lakers folded in the final minutes of the game.
--The Times' Bresnahan details the consequences NBA Commissioner David Stern outlined for coaches who criticize the league's officiating.--The Times' Broderick Turner dissects Durant's impressive defensive performance on Bryant.
--The Oklahoman's Mike Baldwin compares OKC's speed to the Lakers' size and reports Jackson plans to visit the Cowboy Hall of Fame on Friday.--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky has a comprehensive rundown of Thunder notes, including Durant's sharp defense, James Harden's play off the bench, the atmosphere at Ford Center and Brooks winning Coach of the Year honors.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reports that Lakers center Andrew Bynum acknowledged that he's regressed from recovering from his strained left Achilles' tendon.
--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Gregg Patton explains why Jackson isn't surprised he didn't receive a single vote for Coach of the Year.
--The Daily News' Teaford has more on Stern's view on officiating.
Columns--The Times' Bill Plaschke pins the Lakers' loss on No. 24.
--The Times' T.J. Simers believes Stern ruined a perfectly good night.
--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande chalks up the Thunder victory as a feel-good moment for Oklahoma City, considering the game served as the franchise's first postseason win since it moved in 2008 from Seattle.--NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper believes the Thunder has already proven itself in the postseason.
--Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix has your complete nuts-and-bolts rundown of the Lakers-Thunder game.
--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen explains how the Lakers have played much better defense lately. Keep in mind the embedded video below was recorded before Game 3.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin argues the Lakers' inability to defend Durant and Westbrook in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference.
--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller argues the biggest consequence of the Lakers' loss entails the failed opportunity to gain some rest.
--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Patton believes the outcome had more to do with how the Thunder played.
--The Oklahoman's John Rohde details how the Thunder overcame the odds to beat the Lakers.
--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen argues Oklahoma City's Game 3 victory served as a statement game.--The Oklahoman's Barry Tramel credits the fan support as being instrumental to OKC's Game 3 victory.
--The Daily Thunder highlights all the momentum shifts that eventually led to an OKC victory.--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky details the Lakers' third-quarter meltdown as well as Durant's defense on Bryant.
--Forum Blue and Gold credits Oklahoma City for refusing to give up.
--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore credits OKC's resurgent offense.--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell details why the Lakers collapsed late in the game.
Tweet of the Day: "David Stern crossed paths with Phil in hall and extended hand. Phil smiled but withheld his: "I'm not so happy with you." -- KevinDing (Orange County Register's Lakers reporter Kevin Ding).
Photo Caption of the Day (Chick Hearn photo caption): ""Chick, just one more time, tell me it's 'in the refrigerator!'" -- Rick Friedman
Photo Caption of the Day (Chick Hearn favorite memory): "In this generation of Lakers media, nobody is closer than Chick Hearn. Many have attempted to duplicate his feat, his professionalism and knowledge but it is not apt for comparison. Fans first, before commercials. When the ball is in play, he won't interview any Hollywood star or politician out there until the game is halftime or over. Today, we see Myers and TNT enamored with celebrities. He is an inspiration to the players, organization and to all fans. He is quintessential NBA to all of us because he acts as the player, referee, coach, NBA official, producer, TV cameraman and sometimes the Lakers' opponent as well. One person did perform all the roles for the sake of fans' entertainment." -- Edwin Gueco
Reader Comment of the Day: "Ron Artest, SF 42 5-10; Pau Gasol, PF 43 7-12; Andrew Bynum, C 32 6-9; Kobe Bryant, SG 41 10-29; Derek Fisher, PG 36 5-8; "So could someone explain to me why Kobe was pounding the ball into the ground to take contested fadeaways and turnaround jumpers in the fourth quarter?" -- LA Guy
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant steals the ball from Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant but was called for a foul in Game 3 on Thursday night. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.