While there are many subplots to this series, the one that has garnered significant attention is the match-p between Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant. ESPN Stats & Information noted that this is the fifth time that the No. 1 and No. 2 regular-season scorers are facing off in the playoffs. This battle may not have the sexiness of a Magic vs. Bird matchup, but it’s still worth watching.
Here’s a look at some stats you might not know about ever since Kobe and Durant started facing off against each other when Durant entered the league in 2007 (includes last night’s game).
1. Bryant and Durant have played against each other 23 times since the start of the 2007 season. The Lakers have won 16 of those games though the Thunder have won four of the last five. They have faced off in the playoffs seven times (going back to when the Thunder were in Seattle) with the Lakers holding a 4-3 edge.
2. In the 23 games that Bryant and Durant have faced each other, both players have outscored each other 11 times and have scored the same number of points in one game. However, Durant has outscored Kobe in 10 of the last 14 games.
3. Both Bryant and Durant average just under 21 shots per game when their respective teams play against each other. Bryant averages 20.9 shots per game, Durant averages 20.5 shots per game.
* Bryant: Home, 27.1 ppg; Away, 24.6 ppg; Wins, 26.0 ppg; Losses, 25.3 ppg.
* Durant: Home, 25.0 ppg; Away, 25.3 ppg; Wins, 26.7 ppg; Losses, 24.4 ppg.
5. Bryant averages 27.0 ppg in regular-season games against the Thunder. His playoff average versus Oklahoma is 23.0. Durant averages 25.2 ppg in regular-season games against the Lakers; his playoff average is 25.0.
6. Kobe’s game high against the Thunder in the Bryant-Durant era was 48 on January 14th, 2008. His game low was 11 on March 26th, 2010. Durant’s game high against the Lakers was 35 on April 22nd, 2012. His game low was a 15-point performance on February 24th, 2008.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp