The Thunder scored 42 more points in Game 1 (119) than in Game 2 (77), and astonishingly was victorious both times against the Los Angeles Lakers.
How does OKC return to triple-digits Friday at 9:30 p.m. in Game 3 of the Western Cofnerence semifinals at Staples Center?
Better shooting is an obvious place to start: The Thunder shot 53.0 percent from the field in Game 1, but 42.0 percent in Game 2.
Taking care of the ball is another: OKC had just four turnovers in Game 1, but 13 in Game 2.
Second-chance points add up: The Thunder had 21 second-chance points and 13 offensive rebounds in Game 1, but managed just four second-chance points and six offensive boards in Game 2.
Getting to the free-throw line helps: OKC made 24 of 29 free throws in Game 1, but 13 of 16 in Game 2.
The Lakers also dictate what the scoreboard reads.
“They did a good job of not taking quick shots,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “They kind of slowed the game down and we really can't do much with that. They shot a lot under 10 seconds and even under five seconds (remaining on the 24-second shot clock).”
The Thunder had 14 more field-goal attempts in Game 1 (44 for 83) than in Game 2 (29 for 69).
Yet at the same time, the Lakers are down 2-0 and might try to make some changes.
“They're going to play desperate,” Brooks said. “They're going to really come at us.”
More pressure often leads to a faster tempo, which is where OKC excels.
“It seems like everybody is prepared to make big plays,” Brooks said. “That's what good teams do and we are a very good team.”
On a potential game-winning sequence for the Lakers late in Game 2, reserve guard Steve Blake snuck his way into the right corner for a wide-open 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left that wound up being off the mark.
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