Kobe Bryant would not allow the Lakers to lose and go down 0-3. Bryant scored 14 of his 36 points in the fourth qyarter as the Lakers held off the Thunder and got back in the series. Bryant shot 9-25 from the field but was a perfect 18-18 from the free throw line to seal the Lakers win. Los Angeles was great from the free throw line all night converting 41-42 with the lone miss coming from bynum who was 11-12 from the line. ”You have to knock those freebies down,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. ”You’re not going to get any better look in a game than a free throw. That’s how good (the Thunder) are.”
For the second straight game in the series the Lakers found a way to slow down the Thunder’s attack and control the tempo. Everytime OKC made a run to get ahead the Lakers came roaring back refusing to lose the game. ”If it’s an up-and-down game, we don’t have a shot,” said Bryant, who surpassed Gail Goodrich’s 1972 team record of 17 free throws without a miss. ”We’ve got to just slow down the game. Play our pace, play our tempo, and we’ll give ourselves a great opportunity.”
There is a lot of positives to take away from the game for the Lakers win. Sessions finally appeared in the series scoring 12 points along with Steve Blake. Bynum had 15 points despite going 2-13 from the field. Bynum won’t miss those same easy shots again game 4. “I missed a lot of chippies, a lot of easy ones I normally make. I had to hit my free throws, I was really mad about the one I missed.” said Bynum after the game.
Kobe and the Lakers face a quick turnaround with the back to back game 4 tonight. The Lakers will have to come out with the same fire and passion if they want to tie this eries up going back to Oklahoma. The Lakers have to remember what has given them success the last 2 games and build on it tonight. Bryant knows he will have to be the vocal point once again for this team to have success.