Bryant leads comeback as Lakers top ThunderApr 23, 2012 - 12:06 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant scored 26 points on Sunday and the Lakers overcame a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit to down the Thunder, 114-106, in double overtime.
The Lakers, seeded third in the Western Conference, were down by 17 in the fourth before eventually reclaiming the lead on Bryant's one-footed running three-pointer with 1:21 remaining in regulation. They can lock up the Pacific Division title with a Clippers loss to the Hornets later Sunday.
"This win is huge for us," said Los Angeles guard Steve Blake, who scored 13 points. "It's nice to get a win against one of the better teams."
Bryant had six points in the second overtime while Pau Gasol finished with 20 points and 14 boards and Jordan Hill scored 14. Metta World Peace had 12 points before being ejected in the second quarter for violently elbowing Thunder guard James Harden in the side of the head.
Kevin Durant scored 35 points to pace Oklahoma City, which fell one game behind San Antonio for the top spot in the West. The Spurs play later Sunday.
Serge Ibaka added 18 points and 14 rebounds in the setback and Russell Westbrook chipped in 14 points and 10 assists. Harden did not return to the game.
With the shot clock winding down, Bryant capped an 18-3 run and made it 88-87 with his one-footed running three-pointer from the top of the key with 1:21 left.
Westbrook answered with a pair of foul shots before Bryant struck again, sinking a deep pullup three. Westbrook responded in turn, driving, drawing a foul and sinking a pair from the line to tie it at 91 with 44.6 to play. Bryant and Durant both missed jumpers before the end of regulation.
Los Angeles led 97-93 midway through the first overtime before layups by Kendrick Perkins and Westbrook necessitated a second. There, Bryant jab- stepped Thabo Sefolosha and drained a pullup jumper for a 106-104 lead with under a minute left. Devin Ebanks came up with a steal on Oklahoma City's next possession and hit a streaking Bryant, who was fouled at the rim with 36.9 seconds left. He made both free throws and the Lakers held on for the win.
The first half, which saw the Thunder hold a 52-47 lead at the break, was largely defined by World Peace's mindless act.
The controversial forward finished a transition dunk to put Los Angeles up 48-47, then began beating his chest with his fist in frenzied celebration. Turning to head upcourt, he forcefully swung his left elbow and connected with the neck and head of the unsuspecting Harden, who was waiting for an inbounds pass.
The entire incident lasted just a matter of seconds and left World Peace with a flagrant foul type 2 and Harden prone on the court, though he eventually stood and walked to the locker room unassisted.
"I got real emotional," World Peace said after the game. "It was unfortunate that James got hit. I hope he's OK. It was an unintentional elbow."
The Thunder opened up an 18-point lead in the third behind seven points from Durant before taking a 77-61 lead into the fourth.
"Heck of a game," said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. "It was hard fought. We got cold when we needed to stay hot. We had good looks, we just didn't make them."
Oklahoma City won the season-series, 2-1...The Lakers improved to 6-1 in overtime games this season, while the Thunder suffered their first overtime loss (3-1).
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 106
LOS ANGELES: 114
Final - 2OT
Apr 22 6:44 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 97
LOS ANGELES: 97
End of OT
Apr 22 6:24 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 91
LOS ANGELES: 91
End of Regulation
Apr 22 6:10 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 77
LOS ANGELES: 61
End of 3rd
Apr 22 5:30 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 52
LOS ANGELES: 47
Apr 22 4:45 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 26
LOS ANGELES: 20
End of 1st
Apr 22 4:02 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 22 3:33 PM
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