Thunder rally for 3-1 lead over LakersMay 20, 2012 - 6:26 AM Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The Thunder stole another game from the Lakers on Saturday, getting a go-ahead three-pointer from Kevin Durant with 13.7 seconds left en route to a 103-100 comeback win in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Thunder, who scored the final nine points to snatch a victory in Game 2, trailed by as many as 13 in this one but closed with a 25-9 run to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Durant finished with 31 points, Russell Westbrook had 37 and the Oklahoma City franchise earned its first road playoff win over the Lakers in its last 15 tries.
"Westbrook played a heck of a game, especially in the fourth quarter" said Lakers coach Mike Brown. "That's when we usually step up defensively but we didn't do it tonight."
Kobe Bryant, who scored eight of his team's final 10 points in Friday's Game 3 win, had 38 to pace Los Angeles.
Game 5 will be Monday at Oklahoma City.
Los Angeles was in control for nearly the entire game. The Thunder never led by more than two points until Durant's go-ahead three. The Lakers, meanwhile, were on top for the entire third quarter and tied their largest lead of the game early in the fourth when Jordan Hill connected on a hook shot.
From there Oklahoma City methodically chipped away.
A three-pointer by Derek Fisher had the margin at 10 and a jumper by Westbrook had it at seven.
Steve Blake responded with a driving layup for a 94-85 lead, but Westbrook ripped off five straight points, getting a 16-foot jumper and a three-point play in succession to pull the Thunder within four.
Minutes later, Durant scored four in a row, tying the game at 96 on a jumper and Kendrick Perkins followed with a putback for Oklahoma City's first lead since the opening quarter.
Bryant tied the game at the foul line with 1:04 left and the teams traded turnovers, the second of which was an errant pass from Pau Gasol into the hands of Durant. The regular-season scoring leader dribbled upcourt, assessed the defense and pulled up from the top of the key for a 101-98 lead.
James Harden, who finished with 12 points, made a pair of free throws and Bryant made an inconsequential jumper at the buzzer to seal the final result.
"I wanted to run the shot clock down and get the last shot," said Durant. "I saw (Metta World Peace) back up a little. I just try to do the best I can to finish the game."
Saturday's early going looked much like an extension of Game 3, with neither team able to gain significant ground. Late in the first quarter, the Lakers began to establish themselves, closing the frame on a 13-6 run and getting a turnaround hook from Andrew Bynum for a 29-24 lead heading into the second.
There, they pushed the lead to 36-26 on two more buckets from Bynum and a three-pointer from Blake. They maintained the double-digit advantage for the majority of the quarter and were up 56-46 on Bryant's three-point play shortly before the buzzer.
Bryant opened the second half with a fadeaway jumper for two of his 15 third- quarter points. Westbrook countered with 13 points in the frame and made a running layup in the closing seconds but Bryant drilled another buzzer-beater for an 80-71 lead heading into the fourth.
"We had good opportunities to win at the end but it didn't work out," said Bryant. "We're not thinking about winning three in a row. We have to go to Oklahoma City and take care business."
In NBA playoff history, the team that wins Game 4 of a best-of-seven series tied 2-2 is 134-27...Oklahoma City earned its first road playoff win against the Lakers since April 22, 1980, when the franchise was located in Seattle...The Lakers fell behind 0-2 in this series and are 2-17 all-time in playoff series when facing such a deficit.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 103
LOS ANGELES: 100
May 20 1:08 AM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 71
LOS ANGELES: 80
End of 3rd
May 20 12:28 AM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 46
LOS ANGELES: 56
May 19 11:33 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 24
LOS ANGELES: 29
End of 1st
May 19 10:58 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
May 19 10:33 PM
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