Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions

It looked as though the Los Angeles Lakers were going to steal a game on the road, but the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied late for a 77-75 win at home. The Lakers had a 77-70 lead with only two minutes left in regulation, but the Thunder closed out the game on a 9-0 run to take a 2-0 series lead. If If the Thunder go on to win the series, Los Angeles going to look back on this game and wonder what might have been. The two teams will head to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Fri.. Tip-off is scheduled for 10:30 EST and will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN.

Taking a look at the NBA odds for Game 3, oddsmakers have Los Angeles favored by 2.5-points over Oklahoma City with the total set at 193 points. Looking for the lastest info on this series? Just go to this link.

Oklahoma City

It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win in the playoffs. I don’t believe there is any doubt that the Thunder feel lucky to have a 2-0 lead in the series. Oklahoma City let the Lakers dictate the tempo of the game, which is something they are going to have to avoid in Game 3. The slow pace really seemed to have an impact on the Thunder, as they totaled just 29 points in the second half of Game 3.

Kevin Durant had a game-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists, but the story of Game 2 was the Lakers slowing down Russell Westbrook. After carving up the Lakers defense for 27 points in Game 1, Westbrook was held to just 15 points on 5 of 17 shooting. L. A. also did a great job against James Harden, limiting him to just 13 points off the bench. Here’s where the Thunder are vulnerable. If Oklahoma City doesn’t get scoring from all 3 of these players, their whole offense suffers.

Whether the Thunder will be able to win a game in Los Angeles will be decided by the play of Westbrook. When he has it going this team can really light up the scoreboard. Not only is Westbrook going to have to discover a way to score more, but he has to get the tempo of the game at a much faster pace than Game 2.

Los Angeles

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Lakers come out in Game 3. LA executed their game plan to perfection for 46 minutes on Wed.. Sadly the game is 48 minutes long. The Lakers backs are completely against the wall. If they lose Game 3, the series is all but over. Not only do the Lakers have to win on Friday, but Game 4 is just as critical. If they return to Oklahoma City down 3-1, you have got to like the Thunder’s chances of finishing the series at home in Game 5.

I was really impressed by the play of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in Game 2. The two combined for 34 points and 23 rebounds, with Bynum leading the way with 20 points. . The only thing I’d like to see in Game 3, is the Lakers try and find a way to get Gasol even more aggressive on the offensive end.

Kobe Bryant tied Bynum with a team-high 20 points in the loss, but he had to work hard for those 20 points. Bryant was just 9 of 25 from the field, and went 0-6 from behind the 3-point line. The most shocking stat was the fact that Bryant attempted only 2 foul shots the entire game. In my opinion he is settling for too many jump shots. For Los Angeles to make this a series he needs to be more aggressive attacking the basket.

The next thing the Lakers desperately need in Game 3, is their role players to contribute something offensively. No one outside of Gasol, Bynum, and Bryant and more than eight points. Ramon Sessions was once again held to only 2 points and the Lakers reserves totaled just 11 points the entire game.

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