Kevin Durant has done it again.
The NBA's scoring champ buried a clutch three-pointer right in Metta World Peace's grill to give the Oklahoma City Thunder a 103-100 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Despite leading by 13 with under eight minutes to play, the Lakers fell apart down the stretch. Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum stopped hitting shots, while Durant and Russell Westbrook were dominant on the other end.
Westbrook led OKC with 37 points and carried his team through some rough stretches of the game. But with the score tied at 98-98, the Thunder turned to Durant.
The young superstar didn't disappoint, knocking down the three with 13 seconds left. After a missed Kobe three, the Thunder knocked down a pair of free throws to seal the victory.
They lead the series, 3-1.
Tweets of the Night
As Russell Westbrook went down before halftime, it brought up questions about the slippery floor at the Staples Center. But as Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles points out, you can't blame it on the hockey rink below.
Ice has been below the basketball court at Staples Center all season. They didn't just put a rink under there this week.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) May 20, 2012
Bethlehem Shoals, our fine NBA Lead Writer here at Bleacher Report, has a great idea for talented yet volatile point guards Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo.
Working on a pilot for a Rondo-Westbrook detective buddy show. They spend the whole episode trying to figure out if one of them did it.— Bethlehem Shoals (@freedarko) May 20, 2012
As the fine folks at ESPN point out, if "shot difficulty" was a stat, Kobe would lead the league every year.
On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being easiest and 10 being crazy difficult), the difficulty of Kobe’s shots: 10. #Mamba— ESPN (@espn) May 20, 2012
Former NBA baller and current basketball analyst Jalen Rose made a good point about how the Lakers dealt with the always-dangerous James Harden.
Lakers are making a conscious effort of attacking Harden on the defensive end. It has taken away from his offense so far #NBA— JALEN ROSE (@jalenrose) May 20, 2012
After Kevin Durant drained his the game-winning three, David Aldridge of TNT had flashbacks to this summer.
Durant. Wow. Just like at the Rucker...— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) May 20, 2012
The highlight of the night goes to Durant, who splashed yet another game-winning shot.
Grades for Key Thunder Players
Kevin Durant: A
It was an up-and-down game for Durant, but he made up for some potentially costly mistakes with that clutch three-pointer.
He finished the game with 31 points and 13 rebounds, and although he missed two big free throws down the stretch, he still did enough to get OKC the win.
Russell Westbrook: A
From nearly tearing his groin in the second quarter, to dominating in the third, to picking up a silly technical in the fourth, OKC's enigmatic point guard did it all.
Overall, it was an excellent game for Westbrook. He got to the rim at will and worked his mid-range mojo to finish with 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting.
Grades for Key Lakers Players
Kobe Bryant: A-
It was a vintage Kobe performance, as the relentless gunner went for 38 points on 12-of-28 shooting. Unfortunately, he missed a few key shots late in the fourth quarter, and didn't get much help from his supporting cast.
Andrew Bynum: B-
The big man was excellent for the first three quarters, but he faded late. With Kendrick Perkins frustrating him, Bynum couldn't find his rhythm in the fourth quarter, which ultimately led to the collapse of the Lakers offense.
He finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Game MVP: Russell Westbrook
Although Kobe scored more points and Durant hit the game-winner, Westbrook was the best player on the court Saturday.
His 13 third-quarter points kept OKC in the game when L.A. was about to pull away, and he maintained his aggression in the fourth. Without Westbrook going off Saturday, this series would be tied at two.
The pivotal Game 5 will take place Monday, May 21 in Oklahoma City. The game starts at 9:30 p.m. Eastern and will be televised live on TNT.
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