OKC Thunder Game 4 notebook: Thunder starts out slow

OKC hit its first three shots and five of its first six — but the Lakers were also hot and led 27-22 after making 11 of their first 17 attempts.
BY JOHN ROHDE, BERRY TRAMEL AND MIKE SHERMAN Published: May 20, 2012
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EIGHT MEN OUT

The Lakers have stuck with an eight-man rotation virtually the entire series. With the tough turnaround with no off day between Games 3 and 4, was L.A. coach Mike Brown tempted to lengthen his bench?

“No,” Brown said without pause.

The Lakers had a shootaround scheduled for Saturday morning but canceled it. Instead, they had a closed walk-through practice at Staples Center at 5 p.m. (PT).

Brown said the Lakers just have to fight through fatigue. “Teams that are younger will have fresher legs and bodies,” Brown said. “You try to rest the guys, but they have to lace them up.”

Brooks has kept his 10-man rotation, but Daequan Cook's playing time has dwindled. Cook, who backs up Durant, has averaged 8 minutes per game and had played less than four minutes in Games 3 and 4.

BOTH SIDES

Lakers forward Metta World Peace and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook got into a scuffle in the second quarter Friday night, and both were assessed technical fouls.

Westbrook described the incident this way: “I was just trying to get a loose ball and try to get it quickly and call a timeout, but I guess it was kind of hard for the refs to see it. That's all I was trying to do.”

World Peace described the incident this way: “He was very passionate at that point, Westbrook. There were a lot of emotions in that game. I can't worry about that. I have to try to get the ball. I'm trying to get the ball, but he's going crazy. I lose my feet. My knee hits his chest, but I'm glad I didn't get ejected.”

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