The Thunder has outscored the Lakers by 52 points at the free throw line, 72-17 in fast-break points. Oklahoma City is shooting 84.2 percent at the line, the Lakers 69.1. OKC outrebounded the Lakers in both games in the Ford Center. Are the Lakers concerned? "Anytime you get beat you’re concerned,” said Lakers star Kobe Bryant. "We just have to make some adjustments.” Lakers center Pau Gasol said the bottom line is the series is tied. "I’m not worried,” Gasol said. "I have a lot of strength inside me that is ready to play Game 5. It’s going to be a critical game. We have to regain our confidence, and our momentum in the series. We kind of lost it a little (Saturday) night. It’s just one game. It’s tied 2-2. We still have home-court advantage. We just need to get back and do what we need to do.”
Artest’s offensive strugglesFollowing the Lakers shootaround Saturday afternoon, hours before Game 4, Gasol and Andrew Bynum tried to help Ron Artest get more comfortable with coach Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. Artest is shooting 30.0 percent in the series, 13.0 percent on 3-pointers (3-of-23). Jackson has told Artest to pass more but said he’s not frustrated with the enigmatic star. "He’s a naÃ¯ve, innocent lamb,” Jackson said. "I think he’s mistaken in a lot of ways, put in the same category as Dennis Rodman. There couldn’t be a bigger disparity between people.” Artest averaged 20.5 points for Sacramento two years ago but averaged a career low 11.0 this season for the Lakers, 7.0 in this series.
Kupchak on Jackson-SternAfter commissioner David Stern announced he might be forced to hand out suspensions if coaches continue to complain about officiating, Lakers coach Phil Jackson fired back before Game 4. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told the LA Times "a fine is one thing” but "a suspension another (thing).” "I never feel with a coach of his stature and experience that I have to sit down and read him the riot act,” Kupchak said. "He’s aware of the tightrope he’s walking. But he’s not knowingly going to miscalculate and put this team in the position where he’s not going to be able to lead... "I trust both of their judgments. They both enjoy a good debate as much as anybody. But in the end both will always do what is in the best interests of the game.”