Apparently, there appears to be some “championship-like steel” left in La La Land, courtesy of the Los Angeles Lakers thrilling overtime victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-106.
The victory was their first over OKC this year, and couldn’t have come at a better time of the season, giving the Lakers an added confidence, that they can seriously contend for a championship this year.
Sunday afternoon’s win was pretty much the Lakers biggest win of the season, with a “movie-script like” time-line of the in game action.
We begin with Derek Fisher, who makes his second return to Los Angeles in the last month. Fish enters the game to another standing ovation from the crowd late in the first period. We fast-forward to the end of the second quarter, where Metta World Peace goes in for a slam dunk over Kevin Durant, and Serge Ibaka on a fast break. His over celebratory antics after the dunk, results in him being ejected, thanks to his elbow connecting with the back of James Harden head, resulting in a concussion. I guess Metta will always truly be Ron right (shrugs….smh). ?
I digress, as we move into the second half, the Lakers find themselves in an 18-point deficit midway through the third quarter. Now at this point, the leading characters for the Lakers, look sub par. The Black Mamba looked like Clark Kent, Pau Gasol looked like Tiago Splitter, and Andrew Bynum looked as effective as Michael Olowokandi. Things weren’t going in the Lakeshow’s favor.
As we swing it to the four minute mark of the fourth period, the Lakers are down by 11 points and looked to be getting swept by the Thunder for the season series. Then all of a sudden, the “unusual suspects” of Steve Blake, Devin Ebanks and Jordan Hill (who???…..you know the guy that was in the Fisher to Houston deal….oh that guy, okay) stepped to the forefront and played some inspired basketball.
There efforts bought enough time for The Black Mamba and The Spaniard to regain form as the end of regulation drew near. Bryant knocks downs two three-pointers that would eventually send the game into overtime, and give the Lakers new life.
The Mamba would go on to will the Lakers to victory in two overtimes. For the game, Bryant would finish with 26 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds, while Gasol ended up with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Blake scored 13 points, Ebanks scored 8 points and Hill finished with a huge 14 points and 15 rebounds double-double (who new, definitely not me).
Sunday’s afternoon game was not only a measuring stick for the Lakers, but a message to the rest of the league, that they are indeed legitimate title contenders. It appears that things are about to get very, very interesting in Hollywood come playoff time.
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Written by Arthur Kai