Lakers hold off ThunderFeb 27, 2011 - 11:59 PM Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Pau Gasol led a balanced Lakers attack with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Kevin Durant and James Harden both missed potential game-tying three's in the final seconds, and Los Angeles topped Oklahoma City, 90-87, for their fourth-straight win since the All-Star break.
"We were fortunate to come away with that win," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "Two shots like they had at the end of the game, (they were) good looks but we did the job in the second half defensively."
Andrew Bynum added 16 points and 10 boards while Kobe Bryant scored 17 points and dished out seven assists for the Lakers, who topped the Thunder for the 14th time in 15 meetings.
Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 22 points, six assists and six rebounds. Durant added 21 points, but went 0-for-3 from beyond the arc, including the last second attempt.
Serge Ibaka, who moved into a starting role due to Nenad Krstic's trade to the Boston Celtics, added six points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds in the loss, Oklahoma City's third straight.
"That was a very intense basketball game," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought we played physical and we matched their physical play."
The Lakers held a slim 72-69 lead after three quarters, and widened it to 87-80 with a Bryant three-pointer at 4:38. Durant's fade away jumper at the far end started a short 7-1 Oklahoma City run, and Westbrook capped it with a three-pointer at 2:02, making it a 88-87 game.
Bryant put the game at 90-87 with a turnaround basket just inside the final minute, and after Lamar Odom missed a pair from the line with 10.9 seconds remaining the Thunder had one last chance to steal the win.
However, Durant and Harden's three-point attempts in the final second were off target and Gasol grabbed his final rebound off Harden's miss to seal the victory.
The Thunder started the game on a 12-4 run, however, LA made a methodical comeback, and Artest's jumper with 4:11 remaining put the deficit at 21-17.
Bynum then made 1-of-2 from the line and Derek Fisher added a jumper to make it a one-point game. The Thunder then ended the quarter on a 7-2 run, taking a 28-22 lead after the opening 12 minutes. Oklahoma City was led by the duo of Westbrook and Thabo Sefolosha who supplied eight points apiece.
Fisher's layup with just over five minutes remaining in the second tied the game at 42-42, and after trading baskets, Artest's step back jumper just under the three-minute mark gave the Lakers a 46-45 advantage. Their lead was short lived as Durant regained the Thunder's advantage with a jumper on the next possession, and Oklahoma City took a 56-51 lead into the locker room.
The Lakers held the game close in the third, and Steve Blake's three pointer just inside the final half minute gave LA a 72-69 lead entering the final stanza.
The Thunder are now 20-9 at home this season...All three of Oklahoma City's losses have come against plus .500 teams (Orlando 37-22, San Antonio 48-10, Los Angeles 42-19)... Los Angeles defeated Oklahoma City, 101-94, on January 17 at Staples Center...Harden added 14 points in the loss...Artest scored 10 points for the victors...The Thunder went 13-of-16 from the line, 12-of-18 for the Lakers.
- LOS ANGELES: 90
OKLAHOMA CITY: 87
Feb 27 4:55 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 72
OKLAHOMA CITY: 69
End of 3rd
Feb 27 4:15 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 51
OKLAHOMA CITY: 56
Feb 27 3:32 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 22
OKLAHOMA CITY: 28
End of 1st
Feb 27 3:00 PM
- LOS ANGELES: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 27 2:33 PM
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