There was plenty of blame to go around in Los Angeles after the Lakers blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of their Western Conference second-round series. Kobe Bryant lashed out at his teammates for not being aggressive enough, pointing an accusatory finger at Spanish teammate Pau Gasol. The Thunder are on a high following their stunning comeback and are a win away from returning to the Western Conference finals.
Lakers Thunder Betting
When: 9:30 PM ET, Monday, May 21, 2012
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Los Angeles Lakers: Bryant scored 38 points in the Game 4 defeat at the Staples Center but shot just 2 for 10 in the final quarter – a development he based on having to take tougher shots with his teammates unwilling to help out. “They were tough looks,” Bryant said. “So either we have to free myself up to get better looks in the fourth quarter or other guys have to be aggressive, one or the other.” Gasol said he did pass up an open look late – on a play where he threw a pass to Thunder superstar Kevin Durant for the go-ahead 3-pointer – but that he didn’t have any other clean shot the rest of the quarter.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Durant received plenty of attention for knocking down the winning shot over an outstretched Metta World Peace with 13.7 seconds remaining, but head coach Scott Brooks was more impressed with Durant’s defense down the stretch. Backup point guard Derek Fisher, a longtime Laker, marveled at the two-way player Durant has become this postseason. “That’s who Kevin is,” Fisher said. “He’s one of those special players that we get the privilege of seeing come through our league.” Durant finished with 31 points while teammate Russell Westbrook added 37.
1. Gasol finished without a point or a rebound in the fourth quarter of Game 4.
2. The Lakers finally showed some life on the fast break, finishing with 15 points in Game 4 after registering just 12 in the first three games of the series.
3. Los Angeles hauled in 18 offensive rebounds in Game 4, led by Andrew Bynum with five.
PREDICTION: Thunder 98, Lakers 92. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$