A look at Games 1 and 2 inside Staples Center.
Game 1: April 18, 2010→Final Score: Lakers 87, Thunder 79. →Lakers high scorer: Kobe Bryant, 21. →Thunder high scorer: Kevin Durant, 24. →Lakers high rebounder: Pau Gasol, 13. →Thunder high rebounder: Nick Collison, eight. →Momentum changer: The Lakers led 45-31 with two minutes remaining in the first half and appeared to be on the verge of running away with the win. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, though, turned it on, scoring eight straight Thunder points to end the half on an 8-2 run and bring OKC within 47-39. Westbrook continued to keep the Thunder in it into the third quarter, scoring or assisting on 23 of 24 OKC points between the 4 1/2 minute mark of the second period until the 2 1/2 minute mark of the third. →Key stat: 7-for-24 field-goal shooting for Kevin Durant in his playoff debut. Durant went 1-for-8 from behind the 3-point line, leading the way in the Thunder’s dreadful 2-for-16 shooting night from beyond the arc. →How it ended: The Thunder pulled within 79-73 with 3:31 remaining, but Durant’s cold shooting proved too much to overcome. Lakers point guard Derek Fisher canned the dagger 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining to give the L.A. an 84-74 lead.
Game 2: April 20, 2010→Final Score: Lakers 95, Thunder 92. →Lakers high scorer: Kobe Bryant, 39. →Thunder high scorer: Kevin Durant, 32. →Lakers high rebounder: Pau Gasol, 12. →Thunder high rebounder: Kevin Durant, eight. →Momentum changer: When the Thunder got down 31-20, tying its largest deficit of the night with 10:06 remaining in the second quarter, Serge Ibaka came alive with low-post defense. The rookie forward recorded three of his career-high seven blocked shots over the next 3 1/2 minutes and put the Lakers on notice that their paths to the paint then had resistance. His defensive tenacity had a trickle down effect. It led to the Thunder closing the first half on a 29-14 run to take a 47-45 halftime lead. →Key stat: 17 blocked shots. Seven of the nine Thunder players who saw action had at least one rejection, lead by Ibaka’s seven. Durant had four, and Nenad Krstic had two. The total set a franchise playoff record and was three shy of an NBA playoff record. →How it ended: Kobe Bryant stole the show, proving why he’s considered the game’s ultimate closer. The Lakers’ star checked into the game in the fourth quarter with 8:24 remaining and proceeded to scored 15 of his game-high 39 points in the decisive final frame. His jumper with two minutes left to play broke an 88-all tie and gave L.A. the lead for good. By Darnell Mayberry
The last time they were in L.A.