Late Thunder comeback edges Lakers
From Elias: The Thunder rallied from an 80-71 deficit entering the fourth quarter to beat the Lakers 103-100. This was only the third time that the Lakers have lost a playoff game in which they had led by nine-or-more points entering the fourth quarter. In Game Four of the 1983 Finals, the Lakers lost, 115-108, to the 76ers, after having led, 93-82, entering the final quarter, as Philadelphia completed a four-game series sweep; and in Game Four of a 1987 Western Conference Semifinals series, the Lakers lost, 129-121, to the Warriors in Oakland, after having led, 102-88, entering the fourth quarter.
Durant and Westbrook look like Jordan and Pippen
From Elias: Russell Westbrook scored 37 points while teammate Kevin Durantadded 31 in the Thunder’s 103-100 win at Staples Center. It was the first time two teammates scored at least 30 points in a playoff road win over the Lakers since June 12, 1991, when Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan scored 32 and 30, respectively as the Bulls wrapped up their first NBA title with a win in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the Great Western Forum.
Top two scorers, Kobe and Durant, meet in the playoffs
From Elias: Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant faced off in only the fifth playoff series in NBA history matching the players who finished first and second in the league’s scoring race that season. The four previous instances, with the scoring champion listed first:
1951 West Semis George Mikan (Lakers) Alex Groza (Olympians)
1993 East 1st Round Michael Jordan (Bulls) Dominique Wilkins (Hawks)
1995 NBA Finals Shaquille O’Neal (Magic) Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets)
1997 NBA Finals Michael Jordan (Bulls) Karl Malone (Jazz)
Thunder give Lakers their biggest Game 1 loss since 1998
From Elias: The Thunder defeated the Lakers by 29 points in Game 1 of their playoff series on Monday. That’s the Lakers’ largest margin of defeat in Game 1 of a postseason series since a 35-point loss to the Jazz in Game 1 of their 1998 series. Utah went on to sweep Los Angeles in that series.
Ibaka keeps on blocking
From Elias: Serge Ibaka blocked four shots in the Thunder’s last game of the regular season, a 106-101 loss to the Nuggets. Ibaka ended the season with a streak of 30 consecutive games with at least one blocked shot. It’s the longest such streak for any NBA player this season and the second-longest in SuperSonics/Thunder history, one shy of Ibaka’s 31-game streak that overlapped the last two seasons.
Kings starters combine for 103 points and lose to OKC
From Elias: Sacramento’s five starters combined to score 103 points, but the Kings fell to the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Friday night. The Kings are only the second team this season to lose a game in regulation despite getting at least 100 points from its starters, the other being the Celtics who received 108 points from their starting five in a loss to the Knicks on April 17.
Durant takes scoring average lead
From Elias: Kobe Bryant entered play on Sunday as the NBA’s scoring leader with an average of 27.9 points per game, one-tenth of a point more than Kevin Durant (27.8). Durant jump into the lead (27.91 to 27.86) by scoring 35 points on Sunday, compared to 26 for Bryant.
Big comeback for Lakers
From Elias: The Lakers overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Thunder in double-overtime. Oklahoma City entered play on Sunday as the only NBA team that hadn’t lost a game this season in which it led by more than 12 points.