As the season is coming closer and closer, we’re going going to bring you our thoughts of the top 20 games since the Thunder moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City. We broke it down to about to about 50 games, and then narrowed it down to 20. We decided most were going to be wins, we had one game that was a loss in the top 20, and it’s easily the most memorable lost. Well, for me at least. Without further adieu:
When: May 16, 2012
Location: Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Energy Arena
Final Score: Oklahoma City Thunder 77, Los Angeles Lakers 75
Big Players: Kevin Durant 22 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
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The Thunder coming off a huge blow out win had a huge game on their hands. Oklahoma City led early in the first quarter. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were able to score quickly and efficiently. Oklahoma City jumped out to a quick 18-14 lead. The Lakers fought back though. Lakers stole the first quarter as they led 22-21.
The Thunder had a decent second quarter, out scoring the Lakers 27-23 in the quarter. It was a combination of bench scoring and starter scoring. The second unit really kept the consistency going, and we were tied at 35-35 wtih 5:15 remaining in the quarter. Then the starters really took it over. Oklahoma city out scored the Lakers 13-10 the rest of the way, including a couple of break away dunks.
The first half seemed a lot like the first game, shooting wise. Oklahoma City shot 50% from the floor and seemed to really heat up going into halftime. However, wasn’t meant to be. the Los Angeles Laker’s defense came on fire in the second half.
The Lakers scored the first six points of the second half, while holding the Thunder to missing their first seven shots. Los Angeles and Oklahoma City traded baskets and the lead until the Lakers finally started to pull away.
It started with a Steve Blake three. A Kobe Bryant turn around jumper here. Andrew Bynum put back there. Quickly, the Lakers led 69-63. Oklahoma City tried to get back in the game, after trailing 71-65, Durant hit a big three from the top of the arc, cutting it to 71-68. Andrew Bynum then scored the next four points for the Lakers and the game seemed all but over.
The next 2:08 seconds, the Los Angeles Lakers would not score again.
It started with a Kevin Durant steal and the James Harden dunk. Durant added his own dunk. Next thing you knew, the ball was off Kobe and The Thunder had life.
Kevin Durant took the ball baseline with :18.6 seconds left, and left a floater that trickled in off the rim giving Oklahoma City the 76-75 lead.
“In this league, you’re always fighting to the end.” Said Durant. “We came out and made plays.”
The Lakers had two chances in the final 18 seconds to win the game, but wasn’t able to do so. Kobe ran off 15 second before being fouled by Thabo Sefolosha. On the ensuing inbounds play, Metta World Peace found Blake in the corner who missed a three point shot long, Sefolosha came down with the rebound, clinching the win for the Thunder.
The win puts Oklahoma City in the driving seat for the series. The Lakers went from stealing home court advantage to a must win in game three. They did not win, and Oklahoma City won in five games.