In game one and two of the series, Kobe Bryant proved difficult to guard for the Thunder. In Game 3, the Thunder, led by Kevin Durant, got their first series win even with Kobe Bryant breaking the Los Angeles Lakers’ career record for scoring in the playoffs that was previously held by Jerry West.
Bryant passed Jerry West’s mark of 4,457 postseason points with a 16-foot jumper. Bryant ended the night with 24 points, which weren’t enough to help the Lakers past the Thunder. Oklahoma City beat Los Angeles 101-96 to cut the Lakers’ series lead to 2-1.
Durant who at 21 became the youngest player to lead the NBA in scoring, finished the night with 29 points and 19 rebounds.
“Scoring’s a big part of my game. It kind of overshadows the other parts of my game,” said Durant “But if I continue to play hard on both ends, it’s going to come around for me. I was able to get free and make a couple shots, and that’s what got us going.”
Kobe went 2 for 10 in the final 12 minutes, with Durant stopping between free throws at one point to motion to the bench that he wanted to guard the former MVP.
“It was a matchup that caught me by surprise,” said Bryant, who’s nearly half a foot shorter than Durant. “I think he did a great job.”
Gasol had a 17-point, 15-rebounds for the Lakers, Derek Fisher added 17 points and Andrew Bynum scored 13 points.
The Lakers will need to bounce back on Saturday evening for game four in Oklahoma.