The Thunder evened the first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 110-89 victory in Game 4 on Saturday night.
For the second time in this series, the Thunder utilized the foul line and on the boards even with the defense of the Lakers’ 7-foot tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Bynum had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Gasol also had 13 points. Kobe Bryant had 12 points while spending the first quarter deferring to his teammates and the fourth quarter on the bench.
“I was managing the game exactly how I wanted to. Unfortunately, it got away from us,” Bryant said. “By them getting out in transition and getting those buckets, I wasn’t able to do what I normally do at the end of the game and close games out.”
“Our expectation is we wanted to win both of these games and be done with it. I think that’s every team’s mindset coming on the road being up 2-0,” Bryant said. “It’s not the reality of the situation. We’ve got a tough fight, and it should be fun.”
Andrew Bynum was the only Lakers starter to play in the fourth, as Bryant, Gasol, Derek Fisher and Ron Artest stayed stayed to rest on the sidelines.
Oklahoma City is the youngest team in the league, who thought they would make it this far in the first place? They only won 23 games last season. Now, they’re guaranteed at least the chance to extend their season until Game 6 on Friday night back on their home court — and maybe beyond.
Game 5 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles.