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Kevin Durant downplays his role as Kobe-stopper

April 23, 2010 |  1:07 pm

Oklahoma City Thunder players were happy about beating the Lakers in Game 3 of the first-round Western Conference playoffs Thursday night.

But all that did was trim the Thunder's deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Saturday night in Oklahoma City at the Ford Center.

"Of course we're all excited about the win," Thunder forward Kevin Durant said after his team's practice Friday. "In the playoffs, you have to take any win that you can. But it's a long series and they are the defending champions."

It was a surprise to many to see Durant defending Kobe Bryant in the fourth quarter.

Durant, after all, is known as a scorer. He led the NBA in scoring during the regular season, averaging 30.1 points per game.

But there was Durant in the fourth guarding Bryant, limiting him to four points on two-for-10 shooting.

"Kobe Bryant is the best player in the world," Durant said. "Some of those shots he missed just because he missed. Maybe two or three of those shots I made him miss. But other than that, he just missed shots."

-- Broderick Turner in Oklahoma City