Oklahoma City Pulls Off Big Comeback In Game 4
LOS ANGELES - After trailing for the majority of the game, a dominant run in the fourth quarter lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-100 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals Saturday.
Oklahoma City fell behind early, trailing by double-digits for most of the first half, went into halftime trailing 56-46, and thanks to a Kobe Bryant buzzer-beater trailed 80-71 heading into the final 12 minutes of the contest. The lead continued to hold for the Lakers, and a pair of three-pointers early in the second quarter gave Los Angeles a 91-78 lead with 8:02 left on the clock.
However, that was the point at which LA's offense dried up and Oklahoma City's stars took the game over.
In the next four minutes, Oklahoma City – and specifically Russell Westbrook – responded, snapping off a 16-4 run, eight from Westbrook, to take a 98-96 advantage with just 1:15 left on the clock. It was Oklahoma City's first lead since holding an 18-16 lead seven minutes into the game.
On the Lakers' next possession, Kobe Bryant managed to get to the free throw line – his 16th and 17th from the charity stripe on the night – to tie the game 98-98 with one minute left on the clock. Russell Westbrook mishandled the ball on Oklahoma City's ensuing possession, his only turnover of the game, but an errant pass from Pau Gasol was intercepted by Durant with just 33 seconds left to play.
Durant demanded the ball on an isolation for Oklahoma City, ran the clock down to just 13 seconds and knocked down a three-pointer from the top to give Oklahoma City 101-98 lead. Bryant attempted to answer with a three-pointer of his own, but missed and the Thunder gathered up the rebound.
Los Angeles intentionally fouled James Harden with seven seconds left on the clock in an attempt to extend the game, but the reserve guard hit both free throws to close the door on the Lakers.
Westbrook was dynamic in the contest for Oklahoma City, finishing with 37 points, dishing out five assists and turning the ball over just once. Durant did his part, in addition to the game-winner, turning in a double-double with 31 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 10-of-18 from the field.
Bryant led the Lakers once again, scoring 38 points, including 14 from the free throw line, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out five assists, while Andrew Bynum scored 18 and grabbed nine boards in the loss.
With the win, Oklahoma City takes a commanding 3-1 led in the best-of-seven series, and will attempt to close it out at 8:30 p.m. Monday in Oklahoma City.