Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lakers vs. Thunder - Game 2

This post will continue the series that I will be putting up here as I follow the First Round NBA Playoff Series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The first game saw the Thunder overcome a poor shooting night and perhaps slight jitters to give the Lakers a close game.  We will see how the Thunder respond from that loss and we'll see if the Lakers can show the same defensive focus they did in Game 1.  Let's get to the play-by-play:

First Quarter:

11:42 - Thunder win the tip again. Jeff Green misses an early three. He will need to get involved early if the Thunder are going to win this game.

11:22 - Kobe makes a long two pointer over Thabo Sefalosha.  Kobe will make those shots, but Sefalosha has to keep him from getting hot.

11:11 - Sefalosha answers with a drive and a lay-in.  He is fouled as well.  He converts the and 1.  3-2 OKC.

11:03 - Artest misses from three. Durant takes it the other way, dishes to Sefalosha for a three.  He misses as well.  If he can make those open shots from the wing, that will be huge for Oklahoma City.

10:18 - Kobe goes for another long shot over Sefalosha but he misses this time.

10:07 - Derek Fischer rewinds the clock as he makes a terrific and aggressive drive and puts up a twisting layup.  He misses, but Kobe follows up. 4-3 LAL.

9:43 - Durant misses two shots in a row.  He is already having a tough night shooting.  The next time down the floor he draws a foul on Derek Fischer and, after the ensuing inbounds, finally nails a three. 6-4 Oklahoma City.

9:14 - Kristic blocks a Fischer shot, but Fischer grabs the loose ball and makes a tough jumper. 6-6.

8:47 - Westbrook makes a banked-in three pointer. Let's all say it again, "Westbrook will be the key to this game and the series."  9-6 OKC.

8:26 - Durant with a beautiful drive, but he misses the layup.  He can't let these misses get in his head.  If he is going to have a tough shooting series, he has to keep putting them up and trying to get fouled to help the team.  They need his scoring.

8:25 - Wait a second.  This is the same organ setlist from last night "House of the Rising Sun"->; "Let's Go Lakers."  That is ridiculous.

7:51 - Gasol throws the ball away. The Lakers don't look sharp tonight and the Thunder seem to be playing  a little bit looser than they were on Sunday. Kristic drives and Bynum knocks his shot out of bounds.  OKC inbounds to Jeff Green who tries another three - miss.  He has got to get involved with the scoring.

7:21 - Kobe makes a jumper. 9-8 OKC.

7:07 - Kristic misses a layup, but OKC gets the rebound.  Westbrook drives (he can get in the lane whenever he wants to), dishes to Kristic and Kristic misses another layup! The shooting woes seem to be continuing for the Thunder.  Luckily, Kristic was fouled and he makes both free throws.  11-8 OKC.

6:42 - Kobe drives through the lane, kicks it to Artest who nails a three pointer from the wing.  11-11.

6:01 - Durant hits a sixteen footer that rattles in. 13-11 OKC.

5:31 -Westbrook gets a bad offensive foul called on him.  He has two early fouls and will have to sit down.  As I have said before, they need him to win this game.

5:13 - Bryant makes a tough fadeaway over Sefalosha.  Kobe has eight points already, but Sefalosha is making him work for them.

5:01 - Durant makes a quick layup underneath.  15-13 OKC.

4:40 - Gasol works his way in for a baby hook.  That's bread and Spanish butter.  La Mantequilla is what they call Gasol back home.  15-15. Nah, I'm just kidding; they actually call him Paul.

4:12 - Kobe with a fantastic gliding move, misses the layup but Bynum tips it in. 17-15 LAL.

3:42 - Durant misses a soaring dunk.  We'll see how he responds to the miss. He is definitely having shooting issues again, which he hasn't truly faced all years.

3:20 - Farmar nails a three. 20-15 Lakers.  OKC calls a timeout. Smart move. The Lakers are starting to gain momentum.

2:46 - Both teams are looking sloppy and missing shots.  However, there is definitely a high level of intensity.

1:51 - Durant rises up against Gasol and makes a 12 footer.  He has 9 points. OKC steals from LAL and Farmar fouls. After the foul, Durant makes a nice feed into Collison.  Collison misses the layup but is fouled.  The Thunder need to make some shots.  Collison makes both free throws. 20-17 LAL.

1:06 - Gasol drives on Collison and gets the foul call.  He makes both of his free throws. 22-17 LAL.

50.8 - Eric "Pride of VCU" Maynor misses a three pointer and Shannon Brown brings the ball down and buries a jumper.  24-17 LAL.  Maynor tries to answer but misses a layup attempt.  The ball is knocked out of bounds and stays with OKC. The ball is inbounded to Durant and he is fouled as he attempts a shot.  Durant makes one of two free throws.  24-18.

34.2 - Serge Ibaka and Odom get double technicals just for talking to each other.  You have to love the intensity of Playoff basketball!

20.6 - OKC should have the last shot here, but Durant makes a bad pass that is tipped by the Lakers. The ball goes off Maynor and out of bounds. L.A. comes back down the court and Gasol makes a 15 footer right before the buzzer.  26-18 LAL.  The Lakers are playing sloppy but tough.  Their defense has been active once again.

Second Quarter

11:35 - The Lakers open with a three pointer from Shannon Brown.  29-18 LAL.

11:10 - The Lakers are just focusing their defense on Durant because no one else is making a shot.  They are crowding him whenever he gets the ball.  OKC passes the ball around and Collison has to take a three as the shot clock winds down. Did he miss? Of course. Terrible.  Wait, this is supposed to be objective?

10:47 - James Harden misses a three for OKC.  He has been underwhelming so far, although I think he will fit this team well going forward.  Ibaka blocks an Odom lay-in at the other end.  OKC in transition and Jeff Green is fouled on a dunk attempt.  He makes both free throws. 29-20 LAL.

10:05 - Brown with a drive, misses the layup, but Bynum james it in.  Back down the court and Collison hits a long two. 31-22 LAL.

9:31 - Bynum travels again and OKC lucks out.  They can cut the lead down a little further now that Westbrook has just reentered the game.  However, Ibaka takes a dumb outside shot and Bynum makes an easy shot on the other end.  33-22 LAL.

8:58 - The Thunder take a timeout.  They need some kind of offensive gameplan.  The plan should consist of Westbrook driving and kicking.  The rest of the team will have to step up and make shots.

8:58 - We come back from timeout and Craig Sager, sideline reporter, interviews Scott Brooks, Thunder head coach, who says that his team is playing good basketball and that their shots will fall.

8:48 - Westbrook hits an 18 footer.  33-24 LAL. Again, he is the key to the game and series.

8:26 - Kobe with a terrific bank shot from about fifteen feet.   He just has an answer.  35-24 LAL.

7:58 - Artest makes a steal on Durant, passes the ball to Fischer who botches the alley-oop attempt to Kobe.  These two are both getting old.

7:48 - Westbook hits a shot from the elbow.  35-26 LAL.

7:20 - OKC misses three layup attempts in the paint. The Lakers come back and Odom makes a tip-in. 37-26 LAL.

6:34 - Kobe and Westbrook exchange travel no calls and Ibaka makes a running hook for OKC.  The Thunder are fighting but it is tough to fight when you don't see the shots fall.

6:06 - Ibaka blocks Gasol's baby hook. Ibaka is extremely impressive and he is one of 18 children from a  family in Congo.  However, after his block Westbrook is called for a foul on Derek Fischer.  Westbrook has 3 fouls and will have to sit the rest of the half.

5:20 - Durant with a nice 16 foot jump shot.  37-30 LAL.  OKC is sticking around. That is a bad sign for L.A.

4:58 - Gasol makes a nice spin move and misses a hook shot.  The ball goes out of bounds and stays with L.A.  Jeff Green drives baseline on the other end and is fouled by Bynum.  Green makes both free throws. 37-32 LAL.

4:31 - Bryant with some hesitatation moves.  Fouled.  He makes both free throws.  39-32 LAL.

4:16 - Durant gets space when Artest tries to oversell Durant giving him body.  Durant makes a 16 footer despite Artest's acting skill. 39-34.

3:15 - Great ball movement by OKC and Green hits a corner three.  39-37 LAL. How are the Thunder in this game?  They stay calm and composed.  If Green makes those shots then OKC will win this game.

3:04 - Gasol makes one of two free throws.  40-37. LAL.

2:42 - Maynor takes an ill-advised shot and Gasol blocks it easily.

2:26 - Fischer with a laser pass to Gasol who catches the ball in stride and glides to an emphatic dunk. 42-37 LAL.

2:14 - Durant hits a long three pointer.  42-40 LAL.  Durant has 17 points and 5 assists.

1:50 - The Lakers throw the ball away.  OKC can tie the game here. Green headfakes a three, dribble in and misses a 16 footer.  Foul on Kristic on the rebound.  The Lakers are in the bonus.

1:06 - LA with great defense on OKC. They have to force another bad shot, but luckily they steal the ball back on the other end.  Maynor leads the break and dishes to Durant.  Dunk.

39.4 - After a Laker miss, Sefalosha drives, draws a foul on Kobe and makes the layup.  44-43 OKC.  He makes the and one.  45-43 OKC.

29.2 - Kobe with a 20 footer - gets the friendly bounce.  45-45.

5.4 - Maynor nails a fadeaway baseline jumper. Pretty shot.  47-45 OKC.

0.0 - Kobe takes the ball down the court, tries to get Sefalosha to bite on two excellent shot fakes, but Sefalosha doesn't budge or foul.  Kobe has to hoist up a three that he barely misses.  47-45 OKC at the half. Excellent game so far.

Third Quarter

11:07 - Gasol opens up the scoring with a tip in after a Fischer miss. 47-47.

10:40 - OKC with some nice ball movement. Durant gets an open look, but misses the three.  The Lakers come back down the court.  Bynum with a nice pass from the foul line to Gasol down low. Dunk. 49-47 LAL.

10:05 - Kristic sinks a bucket. 49-49.

9:39 - Kobe rises up for a 24 footer and nails the three.  52-49 LAL.  Kobe is slowly putting up some big scoring numbers.

9:12 - Durant posts up on Artest and nails a "slinky smooth fadeway," according to Kevin Harlan.

8:42 - Off a Westbrook miss, Fischer hits Artest with a long outlet pass for a lay-up.  54-51 LAL.  Kristic answers quickly on the other end with an 18 footer.  Nice range on the big Serbian.  However, "Big Paella" Pau Gasol immidiately sinks a 17 footer.  56-53 LAL.

7:48 - Westbrook with a 15 foot pull up jumper. Sinks it.  Remember for them to win the game he has too...OK, OK you get it. 56-55 LAL.

7:18 - Kobe misses a jumper, but Artest gets the rebound and gets it to Kobe who hits another three. Kristic makes a long two on the other end. 59-57 LAL.

6:31 - Gasol drives on Green as the shot clock winds down and makes a lay-in.  Just your average Gasol move.  61-57 LAL.

6:00 - The Lakers looked locked in right now.  There is some great interior passing between Bynum and Gasol, but Durant blocks Bynum's dunk attempt. Gasol gets the loose ball and is fouled.  He makes both free throws.  63-57 LAL.

5:51 - Westbrook drives with authority. He rises for the dunk and gets fouled by Bynum.  Love the idea for a statement play.  Westbrook makes both free throws.  63-59 LAL.

5:36 - Kobe with a vintage MJ spin-move on Sefalosha, goes baseline, absorbs contact and barely misses a fantastic layup. Kobe makes both free throws.  65-59.

5:24 - Artest with another steal on Durant.  Durant may get his points, but Artest is really bothering him.  There is a loose ball. Tie-up.  Jump ball.  OKC wins it and Durant airballs a three pointer.

5:02 - The game is getting chippy now.  Just what I wanted to see.  Gasol picks up a stupid foul away from the ball.  Green passes up an open three, dishes for Sefalosha in the corner who misses a three.  Kristic dives for the loose ball, Sefalosha joins in and tries to fight for it but is called for the foul.

4:06 - OKC has gone cold again as the quarter begins to wind down.

3:37 - Sloppy play as Westbrook drives, gets the ball tapped away, Collison grabs it and goes for the lay-in.  He misses the shot but there is a foul called away from the ball.  We are reverting back to the ugly play from earlier in the game after the rest of the 3rd quarter had been very smooth.

- There is a baffling House of Payne commercial followed by the Double Down KFC Double Chicken Sandwich commercial.  Hmm, gotta wonder about that product placement. "Colonel, you the man" - KFC.  "Conan, you the man." - TBS, April 2010.

- A charismatic Indian man stars in a mesmerizing but, again, baffling commercial about something I didn't even understand.

- We come back to the game and get look-in from during the OKC timeout at Scott Brooks telling his team to, "play basketball, play tough basketball."  The 2010 NBA Coach of the Year.

3:20 - OKC comes out of the timeout with great ball movement.  They get the ball to Durant who swishes a three. 65-62 LAL.  Westbrook follows that up with a steal and a dunk. 65-64. The Oklahoma City Thunder: "Play basketball, play tough basketball."

2:34 - Fischer nails a three again. Seriously, we know you're a good guy, but just go away already. 68-64 LAL.

2:11 - Durant with a bad pass out of bounds. Laker ball.  A frantic sequence follows that features three blocks by OKC on Laker shots right under the basket, Durant then tries to drive in transition but the ball is stolen by the Lakers. Gasol then loses the ball and Sefalosha drives in transition and is fouled by Fischer. Sefalosha makes one of two free throws.  68-65 LAL.

1:23 - Foul on Kobe away from the ball. Westbrook with some tight moves but he commits an offensive foul.  That is four on him.

1:04 - Kobe makes two free throws.  70-65 LAL.

49.1 - Durant posts up and takes an ill-advised fadeaway, which he misses.  Gasol takes the ball in on the other end and is fouled by Collison.  Pau already has 20 points and 10 rebounds.  He makes one of two free throws.  71-67 LAL.

00.7 - Maynor drives to end the quarter but is fouled. Dumb play by the Lakers.  Kevin Harlan oversells a joke that Doug Collins makes about plays like that giving Phil Jackson even more grey hair.  That's what you want in an on-air partner damnit.  Maynor makes both free throws. 73-69 LAL as we head to what should be an entertaining fourth quarter.

Fourth Quarter:

- There is excitement as we open up the fourth quarter because some guy made a halfcourt shot during the break and won $235,000.  You know the Knicks are on hard times when the most they give out for their contests is $500.

11:36 - Harden with a drive and a layup for OKC. Signs of life from the rookie.  73-71 LAL.

11:18 - Kobe misses a fadeaway and Kristic gets the rebound.  OKC comes the other way and Kobe fouls.

10:57 - Ibaka drives in and makes a fall-away jumper.  Nice shot. 73-73.

10:37 - Kobe drives and has his shot blocked by Jeff Green.  Kobe fouls him afterwards out of frustration.  Four fouls on Kobe.  Green gets the ball in the corner for OKC.  He tries to work himself into position for a shot, but misses and Ibaka is called for an over the back foul.

9:41 - OKC is playing stifling defense. Everyone is moving in synch and covering for each other. However, they are sloppy on offense and lose the ball. The Lakers come back down and Shannon Brown tosses a long lob that is broken up by OKC.  After the inbounds, Odom drives and makes a layin.  75-73 LAL.

- The TBS ads for Conan's new show are very tasteful.  They are really trying to improve on the high bar they set for FrankTV, Tyler Perry's World of Insanity and the Frightening Show with George Lopez.

8:47 - Green is having trouble shooting but he keeps plugging away.  He gets fouled on a shot and goes to the line.  He makes both free throws.  76-75 LAL. 

7:33 - Kobe is working on Maynor and he nails a jumper.  15 footer with the foul.  This is right after he nailed another bank shot.  Kobe makes the and one. 80-75 LAL.

7:19 - Durant nails an impeccable looking three pointer. When he makes them, man does he make them.  80-78 LAL.

6:56 - Kobe uses some more head fakes and hesitations and draws a Jeff Green foul.  Kobe makes one of two free throws. 81-78 LAL.

6:45 - Westbrook drives, dishes to Green who misses another wide open three.  C'mon "Mr. Complimentary."

6:16 - Sloppy sequence: Odom misses a layup, Westbrook with a bad pass, Kobe with a bad pass.

6:03 - Durant misses a three pointer but Ibaka gets the rebound and is fouled on the putback.  He makes both free throws.  81-80 LAL.

5:46 - Kobe nails a cool, calm three pointer.  84-80 LAL.

5:25 - Durant comes back the other way and makes a 20 footer.  84-82 LAL. Durant has 30.  I smell a scoring duel.

4:40 - Kristic is called for an over the back foul.  The Lakers are in the bonus. Bynum misses both free throws. As Verne Lundquist would say, "Oh my!"

4:28 - Artest fouls Durant.  Now OKC is in the bonus as well.  Durant makes both free throws.  84-84.

4:15 - Gasol of course answers with a nice pick and roll with Fischer.  He gets fouled on the lay-in and makes the free throw. 87-84 LAL.

3:41 - Fischer misses an open three pointer and OKC comes down and Durant takes a terrible fadeaway, but Fischer fouls Westbrook on the rebound. Westbrook makes both free throws.  87-86.

3:07 - Artest misses a three pointer. OKC calls a timeout.  We come back from timeout and Kobe's three pointer from earlier was actually ruled a two pointer so the game is tied 86-86.  OKC has the ball.  Westbrook drives and takes an 18 footer.  Fischer fouls him lightly and fouls out.  Westbrook makes both shots. 88-86 OKC.

2:35 - Kobe takes a three and misses.  LAL get the rebound and Kobe takes a fading, baseline jumper.  He is fouled.  Kobe makes both shots. 88-88 LAL.

2:10 - Westbrook drives and shoots a pull-up jumper.  He misses.  Ibaka taps it in but is called for basket interference.

2:00 - Kobe makes a 12 footer. "THE BEST CLOSER IN THE GAME!!"  90-88 LAL.

1:48 - Durant makes a stupid play as he pushes Gasol while trying to get open.  He is of course called for the foul.

1:31 - Kobe drives and is fouled on the other end.  He makes both free throws. 92-88 LAL.

1:18 - Artest steals the ball from Durant.  Brown picks up the loose ball, drives and is fouled hard by Collison.  Good foul.  Brown makes one of two free throws.  93-88 LAL.

1:09 - Westbrook drives and is fouled by Brown.  No one can really guard him.  Westbrook makes both free throws.  93-90 LAL.

30.3 - Westbrook blocks a Brown three pointer and OKC gets the loose ball.  They call timeout.  They have to go for two and then foul. Not time to panic with a three.

22.7 - Green makes a crazy hook shot. "MR COMPLIMENTARY!" 93-92 LAL.

15.1 - OKC with a big mistake by letting Kobe get the ball back after the Laker inbounds. They foul him to stop the clock.  Kobe only makes one of two.  94-92 LAL.  Timeout OKC.

-It's funny to see Kobe's dad in the crowd. I knew that he always had a mom and a former NBA player dad (Joe "Jellybean" Bryant), but for some reason it never seemed like they actually existed. It always felt like Kobe was either: a) hatched from an egg, b) from another planet, or c) raised by wolves.

07.7 - OKC draws up a baffling play. Durant shoots a contested three at the top of the key and misses.  OKC fouls Gasol. Why not go for two again and then execute the foul correctly and put a worse free throw shooter at the line?  Gasol misses the first free throw. SEE!  He makes the second.  95-92 LAL.  OKC has no timeouts left.

00.0 - OKC brings the ball down.  Green gets a solid look at the basket but misses the three. "MR COMPLIMENTARY" NOOO! That was the story of the game.

Oklahoma City showed a lot in Game 2.  They fought through another bad shooting night (although Durant played better) and played the Lakers tough again.  They didn't execute correctly with their fouling at the end and made some mental mistakes throughout the fourth quarter.  I have feeling that they go back to Oklahoma City and feed off the crowd, the shoot better and I think that the series gets a little chippier.  They know that they can beat the Lakers, they just have to execute better.  These teams are both athletic and tough.  I want to see more of this series and I expect it to go to at least 6 games.  We haven't even seen a game that features a true Durant vs. Kobe scoring duel yet.  And we have to see that.  Game 3 is Thursday Night (tonight, as of this posting) and I will be keeping track of it once again for your enjoyment. 

Stay with me here.

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