Los Angeles 75, Oklahoma City 77: The Lakers got the pace they wanted in the second half, the Thunder got an off night from its Big 3 (Westbrook, Durant and Harden were just 17-of-40) and the Lakers clung to a 75-68 lead with two minutes left, hoping to knot the series at one heading back to LA. Then OKC closed the game on a 9-0 run, and Bill Plaschke blamed Kobe Bryant:
He muffed it. He dropped it. He bricked it. And in the final seconds, when the Lakers needed him most, he never even touched it, watching Steve Blake clank a three-point attempt that put the finishing fumble on a monumental collapse … I’ve covered Kobe Bryant since he arrived in Los Angeles 16 years ago, and I’ve never seen him fall so completely apart in a moment so incredibly big.
Yeah, Kobe (9-of-25, 0-6 three-pointers) couldn’t close. According to ESPN, since 2007, Kobe Bryant is 0-7 on game-tying/go-ahead shots in the final 10 seconds of regulation/overtime. The Lakers shot a combined 2-of-15 from deep, a problem that has ailed them all season.
Serge Ibaka blocked seven shots for the Thunder, who only scored 29 points in the 2nd half, but scored 27 in the 2nd quarter.
Boston 107, Philadelphia 91: Classic bed-shitting by the 76ers, or typically dominant performance by the Celtics in a big spot? The Big 3 did what the Big 3 do – takeover. Rajon Rondo: 23 points, 14 assists, one turnover. Kevin Garnett: 27 points, 13 rebounds. Paul Pierce was only 6-17 shooting, but did finish with 24 points and 12 rebounds. The 76ers’ bench was effective (13 points for Lou Williams; 22 for Thad Young) but the starters were an abomination – Evan Turner and Elton Brand shot a combined 2-16. The 76ers will probably win game four and prolong the inevitable.