OKC Thunder: Can the Thunder close the door on Lakers?

A look at how the Thunder has closed out games this postseason
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 20, 2012
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The star: James Harden. Once again, he supplied everything the Thunder needed, scoring or assisting on 24 of the Thunder's 35 fourth-quarter points.

The result: Thunder, 103-97.

GAME 2 VS. LAKERS

The finish: The Thunder trailed by seven with two minutes remaining. At that point, OKC closed the game on a 9-0 run. The Thunder held the Lakers to 12 fourth-quarter points and showed the Lakers that not even their preferred slowed tempo and low scoring could succeed in this series.

The star: Kevin Durant. He hit the go-ahead shot on a baseline runner over Pau Gasol with 18.7 seconds left. Durant scored five of the Thunder's nine points during that game-clinching spurt.

The result: Thunder, 77-75.

GAME 4 AT LAKERS

The finish: The Thunder trailed by 13 points with less than eight minutes to play and had not been closer than seven points since early in the second quarter. But OKC closed the game on a 25-7 run. Russell Westbrook sparked the surge on offense with nine straight points in a two-minute span. Defensively, the Thunder held the Lakers to 7-for-22 shooting in the final period.

The star: Kevin Durant. For the third time this postseason, Durant drained a game-winner. This time, it was a 3-pointer over Metta World Peace from the top of the arc. It capped his 11 fourth-quarter points. Durant also played shutdown defense on Kobe Bryant in the final four minutes, helping to hold the Lakers star to 2-of-10 shooting in the final period.

The result: Thunder, 103-100.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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