Even while eying Bryant, OKC defenders still were responsible for the player they were assigned. When the ball was thrown to Blake, Westbrook quickly turned and leaped out at Blake to contest the shot.
Asked to describe Westbrook's defense on the play, Brooks smiled and said: “It, uh, was not good.”
Did Westbrook know he made a mistake?
“He'll know about it today,” Brooks said, still smiling.
The Thunder ended Game 2 on a 9-0 run. One player who could have helped the Lakers was sitting on the Thunder bench: reserve point guard Derek Fisher, whom the Lakers traded in March and OKC signed as a free agent.
Fisher has advanced to the playoffs in 14 of his 16 seasons in the league, with 12 of those years coming with the Lakers. He has made numerous big shots, including a game-winning 16-footer at the buzzer against San Antonio in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference semifinals.
Fisher is averaging 8.8 points in 215 postseason games and is shooting 40.6 percent from 3-point range.
Brooks was asked if he thought the Lakers panicked in the final 2:08 of Game 2.
“I don't know if they panicked, but I know our defense definitely was good all night,” Brooks said. “We were really active at the end, got a lot of hands on the ball. They didn't shoot the ball well, but we played defense throughout the game.”
Brooks on starting center Kendrick Perkins, who played 32 minutes Wednesday night despite aggravating a right hip muscle strain. “As I said before, he is a character unto himself – 'Perk.' He's an angry basketball player. He doesn't want to make friends with his opponent, and I love that.”