Despite 42 Pts, 5 Reb, and 2 Stls from Kobe Bryant, the Lakers lose to Oklahoma 90-106. Sadness.
OKC drew first blood in the 1st…and Sessions answered back by missing his first set of free throws, setting the stage for a performance characterized by turnovers, lost balls and missed shots. Bryant scored the first 2 points for the Lakers–and dominated the first quarter with 15 points. But with little help from Bynum, the Lakers were down 21-26 at the end of the first…and it didn’t get any prettier.
Bryant tried his best–dominating the scoreboard and trying to set up plays and assists, but it was a one-man game…just like it has been all season. If Bryant wasn’t scoring, MWP and Gasol could manage a 3 or a rebound and defend, but no one else in purp and gold was stepping up the way the team needed to take the game away from OKC.
Still, by the end of the 2nd, Bryant had managed to just take the lead. But when that bad call by the OKC refs against MWP was let stand–turning a simple foul into flagrant plus two technicals–the Lakers lead became a 51-54 deficit at the half. Eek! Eek! Isn’t that what instant replay is for?
If only LA’s refs had worked so hard for the Lakers in Game 4.
And, despite Gasol having stepped up to earn 10 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, and 2 Blks at the half, the toll of playing 44 minutes took a hit on the big man and he only earned 4 more points and 5 assists during the second half.
Bynum, on the other hand, showed more of the same low energy we have come to expect during the playoffs, scoring 7 Pts, 2 Reb, and 1 stl at the half. Two quarters later, the 7 footer had only earned 3 more points and 2 rebounds.
At 5.49 to play in the third, the Mamba scored his fourth dunk of the game to give the Lakers the lead 68-66! Day-um.
But it wasn’t enough.
With Westbrook taking over the 3rd for OKC and a crucial call against Gasol’s buzzer-beating basket that could have gone either way, the Lakers were down 77-83 at the end of the 3rd.
And with Bryant resting for the first few minutes of the 4th, the Lakers couldn’t perform–tallying up an unbelievable 15+ point deficit. Bryant slammed his way onto the court ready to go, but a well-rested Durant was ready to top off the fire Westbrook and Harden had lit, it was too too late; the Lakers lost 90-106.
So, even though the Big 3 from OKC and Los Angeles both combined to score 70 points and 66 points respectively, the Lakers’ breakdown was:
Bryant: 42 pts, Bynum: 10 Pts, Gasol: 14 Pts…
OKC’s, however was:
Westbrook: 28 Pts, Durant: 25 Pts, Harden 17 Pts.
Begin to see the problem?
You gotta help Kobe out yo. It’s not fair to treat your King like this. After all he’s done for 16 years…after how he brings it every time…
The least you could do is try to score some points. Maybe even rebound a little?
Maybe over the summer management will take some time to think about how to get a second shooter and some better strategy. ‘Cause if Bryant had had a Westbrook and a Brooks–or even a George Karl–the Lakeshow would be heading to face San Antonio right now.
It’s the least we owe to the best player in the game.
Lakers Stats for Game 5:
Bryant: 42 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Stls!
Bynum: 10 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Stl!
Gasol: 14 Pts, 16 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Blk!
MWP: 11 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl!
Sessions: 8 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk!
Hill: 2 Pts, 2 Reb!
Blake: 1 Pt, 1 Ast, 1 Stl!
Ebanks: 2 Pts, 2 Blk!