Lakers vs. Thunder Game 2 Updates (Final, Lakers win, 95-92)
Final score, Lakers 95, Thunder 92
No one said it would ne easy. And it came down to the very end as the Lakers pulled out a 95-92 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder to take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven first round series.
In the end Kobe Bryant was the star scoring 39 points. However, his miss of a free throw with 15 seconds left, allowed the Thunder a chance to tie the game. But Kevin Durant missed a three with 7 seconds to go.
Pau Gasol was fouled on the rebound and missed the front end and the Thunder had one more chance. But Jeff Green missed a three and the Lakers escaped.
Fourth quarter, 3:02, Lakers 86, Thunder 86
The Thunder then regained the lead from the foul line. Jeff Green made a single on a defensive 3-second call and then added two more after Luke Walton fouled him. Any thoughts this was going to be an easy game were dispelled long time ago.
Bryant then gave the Lakers the lead again with 8:16 to play and followed that up with a three-point play. the Lakers were back up by four and Bryant was at 29 points. Durant answered with a two and then Bryant went to the line and made one of two for his 30th point. Long time since we've seen that.
The Thunder then closed it to a one-point lead when Ibaka made two free throws. Back steps Bryant with a three pointer and the confidence may have returned. But don't count Durant out, who scored his 30th point with a two.
The Thunder tied the score at 84-84 when Durant made two free throws and the Gasol converted on a three-point play and the Lakers were back in front. After Fisher committed his fifth foul and Westbrook made both foul shots it was a one-point game.
Fourth quarter, 8:56, Lakers 75, Thunder 73
And just like that the fourth quarter started with the Lakers losing their four-point lead. Krstic and Ibaka each made a bucket while Bryant picked up two fouls. It made the Laker faithful almost wishing the fan who sank a half-court shot for $235,000 had stuck around.
But a couple of misses later the Lakers regained the lead on Odom's driving layup.
End Third quarter, Lakers 73, Thunder 69.
Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant scored 21 of the Lakers' 26 points in the quarter, although Kevin Durant (who has 26 points in the game) is keeping it close.
The Lakers used their height advantage throughout the quarter by passing into Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Russell Westbrook now has 4 personal fouls.
Third quarter, Lakers 65, Thunder 59, 3:39.
Pau Gasol ignited the offense in this quarter as the Lakers kept pounding the ball into their big men. Gasol has 10 points this quarter. Kobe Bryant also hit his second three-pointer in the quarter from the same spot; Bryant has 8 points in this quarter. Meanwhile, Ron Artest has been muscling his way to keep loose balls alive but he is a disaster from the three-point area.
Third quarter, Lakers 56, Thunder 53, 8:07.
Lakers grabbed lead back by pushing the ball inside to their big men. Pau Gasol has 6 points in the quarter, Ron Artest has 2 thanks to a fastbreak layup and Kobe Bryant hit a three-pointer. Thunder center Nenad Krstic has hit two jumpers to keep the Thunder close.
Halftime, Thunder 47, Lakers 45
What looked so promising at the end of the first quarter turned dangerous for the Lakers as the next 12 minutes transpired. After a strong first the Lakers looked sloppy and couldn't make baskets.
Durant made up for his less than perfect Game 1 performance with 21 points in the first half on 9 for 15 shooting. Bryant led the Lakers with 14 points on 6 for 16 from the field. The only other player in double figures was Gasol with 10.
Here's how the lead was lost. The Thunder came out of the timeout with about two minutes to play with Durant sinking a three and suddenly the Laker lead was down to two. Gasol then made one of two from the line (is this a trend?). Durant cut it to one with about a minute to play and Thabo Sefolosha made a driving two and then a free throw to take the lead.
Bryant answered with a two but the Eric Maynor answered that for the last points of the quarter.
Second quarter, 2:21, Lakers 42, Thunder 37
The Lakers saw their lead dwindle to five points (37-32) but it wasn't as if the Thunder took over. Some sloppy play and misses were starting to catch up with the Lakers. But then Kobe Bryant went to the line and sank both of his free throws, something he was having trouble doing in Game 1.
Kevin Durant answered with a basket and then Jeff Green cut it to two with a three pointer. The Lakers got the lead back to three when Pau Gasol sank one of two free throws and then slammed home a dunk to give them a five-point lead.
However, one of the better notes for the Lakers this early in the game is the fact that the Lakers bench has shown up actually outscoring the Thunder bench.
Another plus for the Lakers was Russell Westbrook picking up his third foul with 6:06 left in the quarter sending him to the bench.
Second quarter, 8:58, Lakers 33, Thunder 22
The Lakers looked comfortable opening the second quarter with Andrew Bynum getting four of the first eight points on a 10-footer and a layup after an offensive rebound.
The Lakers 11-point lead had the crowd pretty animated despite some series of sloppy play.
End First quarter: Lakers 26, Thunder 18.
Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant were very active looking for their shots throughout the quarter. Bryant was four for nine from the field and leads the Lakers with 8 points, while Durant was also four for nine but has 10 points.
The difference in the quarter was the Thunder shot only 29% from the field.
First quarter Thunder 13, Lakers 11, timeout 5:35.
Kobe Bryant is looking for his shot early and is 3 for 6 from the field and leads the team with 6 points. The Thunder are scoring from the outside, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha have all hit three-pointers
Pre-game update:The Lakers beat the Thunder 87-79 in Game 1 of the series Sunday, but the Lakers were outscored after the first quarter. Still, oddsmaker Beted.com has the Lakers as a six-point favorite in Tuesday's Game 2. And for what it's worth, the Thunder has lost four straight road games.
Both teams shot poorly from the field in the first game (Lakers 41%, Thunder 40%). The Lakers' coaching staff expects the Thunder to run more screens in Game 2 to try and free up Kevin Durant for better, and closer, looks at the basket. Durant will be defended again by Ron Artest, and both players shot a miserable 1 for 8 from beyond the three-point arc in the the opener.
Tip-off for Game 2 is supposed to be around 7:30 p.m., but it's a TNT broadcast so the game may start 10 to 15 minutes later.
-- Barry Stavro
Photo: Ron Artest, left, knocks the ball from the grasp of Kevin Durant as Andrew Bynum defends during first-quarter action on Tuesday. Credit: Paul Buck, EPA.