Lakers run out of gas in Game 4 loss to OKC Thunder

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: May 20, 2012

The Lakers might not play as old as many think, but they most certainly are as big as advertised.

Their 43-39 rebounding advantage included 18 offensive rebounds and a 19-13 advantage in second-chance points.

LA used its significant size to outscore OKC 34-16 in the paint in the first half. Tired legs appeared to take over, and the Lakers shrunk after intermission as the Thunder owned an 18-14 advantage in the paint after intermission.

After an impressive first quarter, the Lakers' shooting plummeted — 60.0 percent in the first quarter; 40.7 percent in the second; 41.2 percent in the third; and 31.8 percent in the fourth.

LA began to choke on its own fumes.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, a pair of 23-year-olds, did in the Lakers in the final period, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. Westbrook finished with 37 points (15 for 26 from the field) and five assists. Durant had 31 points (10 for 18), 13 rebounds, two steals and two assists.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had a game-high 38 points, plus eight rebounds and five assists, but he came up empty in the end.

Bryant shot just 1 for 6 from the field in the last four minutes, and the lone field goal was at the buzzer and completely insignificant.

The Thunder trailed 91-78 with 8:02 remaining and closed with a 25-9 run.

For the third straight game in the series, the team that led in the final three minutes was not the team that wound up winning.

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