Thunder Pulls Off Big Win in Los Angeles

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:20 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Apr 10, 2011 11:33 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES – To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.

And the Thunder beat the best on the road on Sunday.

OKC looked impressive in a 120-106 victory in Los Angeles against the defending champion Lakers, making the playoff chase to end the season all the more interesting.

With the win, the Thunder are now a single game back from both the Lakers and Mavs for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with two games to play.

A tie with Dallas would result in the Thunder having the upper hand, because OKC is a division champion and the Mavericks finished behind the Spurs in their division standings.

However, the Lakers own the season series against OKC, so the Lakers would have to lose their final two games and the Thunder win their final two for OKC to have the advantage against L.A.

Oklahoma City started off strong against the Lakers, jumping out to a 27-15 lead midway through the first quarter.

After the first quarter, OKC had racked up 36 points, shot 4-for-4 from the 3-point line and 64 percent overall.

But as expected, L.A. rallied back and pulled to within two at halftime.

Los Angeles took a lead in third and stretched it to as many as four on a layup from Pau Gasol with 37 seconds left in the quarter.

But the fourth was all Thunder as they doubled the Lakers’ production in the fourth, outscoring them 32-16.

Kevin Durant scored 31 on a solid 11-of-15 shooting night that included 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Russell Westbrook added 26 with seven assists and six rebounds. James Harden had 16 and Serge Ibaka scored 15.

The Thunder shot an impressive 56 percent from the field and 91 percent from the line in the victory.

OKC has now won four straight and 15 of the past 18 overall. It has two games remaining to make a final playoff seeding push, starting with the Sacramento Kings on Monday.

The Lakers have lost four straight.

Tipoff in Sacramento is set for 9 p.m. central time.