Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

March 6, 2013

Thunder put down Lakers

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Thunder tied a NBA record with only two turnovers for the entire game.

Bryant paced L.A. with 30 points and was 11-for-12 from the charity stripe. Nash kicked in 20 points and World Peace added 16 in the defeat.

"You can always try to find positive things," Bryant said. "But for us right now, we have to get some wins. They played really well. "

The Lakers' fortunes took a down turn early in the first quarter when Bryant had to be taken to the locker room after banging elbows with the Thunder's Thabo Sefolosha. He was diagnosed with an ulnar nerve contusion. In the process, L.A. started the game 0-9 from the field.

Bryant returned to the game five minutes later and helped restore calmness to the Lakers. But the Thunder kept rolling as they led 37-28 to start the second quarter.

Oklahoma City pushed the advantage to 16 points before their emotions got the better of them. After being called for a foul on Howard, Derek Fisher was handed a technical foul. Durant then earned his 13th technical foul of the season talking to ref Joey Crawford as the teams headed toward their benches for a timeout. He will have to sit a game if he gets three more.

“Joey is a good ref and I respect him a lot,” Durant said. “But hopefully that gets rescinded. All I asked him was, verbatim, is ‘Can I talk to you? And he got me with one.”

The Lakers took advantage and cut the Oklahoma City's advantage down to eight. Bryant knocked down consecutive long range, contested 3-pointer and scored eight straight points to get L.A. back into the contest.

But that just seemed to wake up the Thunder's defense and they forced the Lakers into difficult shots. Oklahoma City scored a season high for a first half as they pulled ahead 71-55 at halftime.

The Lakers stormed back in the third behind Bryant, Nash and the 3-point shot. They got the lead down to eight points heading into the fourth quarter.

"I don't think we played a great game," Nash said. "We had some turnovers and I feel like we didn’t make the second effort. Especially going against a great team like this."

 

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