Los Angeles Lakers-Oklahoma City Thunder matchups

By Mike Baldwin and Mike Sherman, The Oklahoman, mbaldwin@opubco.com, msherman@opubco.com Modified: April 17, 2010 at 12:05 am •  Published: April 16, 2010
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Point Guard: Russell Westbrook vs. Derek Fisher

Fisher is 35 and allowed 30-year-old Steve Blake to go off for a triple-double (23 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds) Wednesday. So it's not just young point guards he struggles with. Westbrook averaged 22 points, 9.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds his last two games against L.A.

EDGE: Thunder

Shooting Guard: Thabo Sefolosha vs. Kobe Bryant

Kobe's point production vs. the Thunder: 31-26-40-11. Sefolosha has done about as good a job defensively as anyone, but Bryant averages 27 against the Thunder and the league.

EDGE: Lakers

Small Forward: Kevin Durant vs. Ron Artest

Artest has made a career bullying opponents defensively. But Durant is shooting right at 50 percent and averaging 26.4 points against Artest's teams the last two season. The thin man isn't intimidated.

EDGE: Thunder

Power Forward: Jeff Green vs. Pau Gasol

Both guys create mismatches their teams thrive on, Green by taking bigger power forwards outside, Gasol by beating smaller ones down low. Neither has sparkled in this series this season (Gasol 13 ppg, 8 rpg on 39.4 percent shooting; Green 11 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 37.7 FG pct.).

EDGE: Lakers

Center: Nenad Krstic vs. Andrew Bynum

Health is an issue for both. Krstic says the knee that caused him to miss the last four games is fine. Bynum is returning from a strained Achilles tendon but is expected to return for Game 1 of the playoffs. Bynum's stats against the Thunder (19.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 62.8 FG pct) show his value. In the one game he didn't play, OKC romped.