The Los Angeles Lakers win for the fourth straight time following the All-Star Break and improve to 8-1 against the Thunder since their franchise relocated to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Thunder have lost three straight for the first time this season. Only three teams remain who have not had a losing streak longer than two games: the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.
The Thunder had a chance to tie the game with under ten seconds remaining before Kevin Durant missed his shot attempt. Over the last three seasons Durant is just 2-12 on game tying three-point field goal attempts in the last minute of regulation or overtime. Only two players over that span have taken at least ten such attempts and made a lower percentage of those attempts: Kobe Bryant (1-10) and Aaron Brooks (1-10).
Speaking of Bryant, he continued his march up the record books. In the fourth quarter Kobe moved past Elvin Hayes to become seventh on the all-time scoring list, and now sits at 27,320 points for his career. Next up on the list for Bryant is Moses Malone who is sixth with 27,409 points.
Most Career Points, NBA History
The game featured the second- and third-highest scoring duos in the NBA; Durant and Russell Westbrook entered the game averaging 48.7 points per game and Bryant and Pau Gasol were combining for 44.0 points per game this season.
Durant and Westbrook outscored Bryant and Gasol by eight points, but the Lakers won with a strong game from Andrew Bynum, who scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Bynum had a touch on just 18 of the Lakers’ 98 possessions. When Bynum did get a touch, the Lakers averaged 1.5 points per play compared to just 0.79 points per play when he didn’t. Gasol led the Lakers with 18 points, the 17th time this season Bynum and Gasol combined for at least 30 points. The Lakers are 14-3 in those contests.
Elsewhere around the NBA…
FryeChanning Frye hit the game-winning jumper as time expired in overtime to lift the Phoenix Suns to a two-point win over the Indiana Pacers. It's the first game-winning buzzer beater of Frye's career. The last Suns player to hit a game-winner at the buzzer was Quentin Richardson on December 20, 2004 against the Nuggets.
Phoenix has won three straight overall. Grant Hill led the Suns with a season-best 34 points. For Hill it was his highest scoring game since February 27, 2005.