Lakers Edge Out 99-96 Victory Over Thunder in Game 3

The Los Angeles Lakers managed to edge out a 99-96 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 of the 2012 Western Conference Semi-Finals.

The Lakers jumped out to a 23-15 lead after the first 12 minutes of play. All five starters scored in the first period.

In the second, the Thunder came back, and cut the lead to just three at 50-47. By halftime, Russell Westbrook notched 14 points and five rebounds while Kevin Durant had 13 points and James Harden had 12. Kobe Bryant led the way with 13 points and three assists while Ramon Sessions had 10 points and four assists.

The Thunder had a strong third quarter, and led the Lakers, 70-69, after 36 minutes of play. Kevin Durant had 10 points in the period while Kobe Bryant had nine for the Lakers.

The two All-Stars (Durant and Bryant) continued to battle in the fourth quarter, but Kobe prevailed by scoring 14 points compared with Durant’s eight in the period. Bryant’s superior scoring proved to be the difference as the Lakers prevailed, 99-96.

The Numbers

Kobe Bryant led the way with 36 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Andrew Bynum added 15 points, 11 rebounds (four offensive), three blocks, and two assists. Ramon Sessions (four assists), Pau Gasol (11 rebounds, six assists, and two blocks), and Steve Blake (eight rebounds) added 12 points apiece. Metta World Peace contributed with 10 points and two blocks, but also was critical various defensive play throughout the game. Jordan Hill scored just two points and grabbed four rebounds while Matt Barnes was scoreless in 10 minutes of play.

For the Thunder, Kevin Durant led the way with 31 points, five rebounds, and two steals. He did have five turnovers, however. Russell Westbrook (nine rebounds, two steals) and James Harden (four rebounds, three steals) had 21 points apiece. Serge Ibaka had eight points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks while Kendrick Perkins notched six points, and four blocks. Derek Fisher had four points, Thabo Selolosha had three points and four assists, and Nick Collison added two points and three assists.

Now, let’s break down the victory.

Next Page: The Breakdown

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