Kevin Durant knew that he had to put an extra effort to his outstanding usual performance if he wanted to stop the Lakers from acquiring a 3-0 in the series and the first game of the playoffs playing at home seem like the perfect opportunity. Well, he succeeded, and now the series against Los Angeles is 2-1 thanks to the Thunder’s 101-96 victory on Thursday night.
Durant played phenomenally at Ford Center, and finished the game with 29 points and nineteen rebounds, while teammate Russell Westbrook ends up with 27 points. They both scored 22 of the last 23 points for Oklahoma City. James Harden, the player that was not a big contributor in the past two games, was essential in the win, as he finished with 18 points; all scored in the first half.
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Thanks to his performance in game 3, Kevin Durant is now 2nd in the voting for the league’s most improved player (he ended up 3rd in votes last season), just behind Aaron Brooks, the player from the Rockets.
For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant finished with 24 points, while Paul Gasol ended with 17 and fifteen rebounds. Even though he scored a good number of points, the performance of the shooting guard for Los Angeles who plays with jersey twenty four was not as fruitful as his work in game 2 since he went two for ten in the remaining twelve minutes of the match with Durant covering for most of the last period.
Los Angeles scored the first ten points of the match and dominated the Thunder quite impressively, until a comeback from Oklahoma City late in the 3rd with 8 straight points. Then at the beginning of the fourth, a dunk by Westbrook put thing even at 74 and Durant’s back to back three pointers gave his team the first lead in the match.
Ron Artest, who were given the task of guard Durant during the playoffs, said that the Lakers probably felt too comfortable with their lead during almost 3 quarters and fell asleep
Game four is set to be played on Saturday at the same arena, and Durant is surely eager to score another win against the reigning NBA champions. This game is decisive for both teams, as if the Thunder is able to level things at 2-2, they can return to Los Angeles for game 5 more relaxed, but, if the Lakers are the ones who win the match, then they will take it to 3-1 and might be able leave the series at 4-1 with a home victory on the fifth meeting between both franchises.
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