The Lakers have no choice but to slog through the second game of a back-to-back situation tonight, Saturday May 19th, against the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder for Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Thunder lead 2-1 over the Lakers. NBA oddsmakers have the Thunder as -1 point road favorites over the Lakers with the over/under set at 188.5 points. Be sure to check the Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers Game 4 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the game tips-off.
OKC’s (6-1, 2-1 V) Kevin Durant scored 31 points as the Thunder lost for the first time in the post-season, getting outscored 12-4 down the stretch. Russell Westbrook and James Harden scored 21 points apiece for the Thunder, who couldn’t match the Lakers’ late-game execution after soundly out-executing the Lakers in Game 2.
Scott Brooks’ team even has a finely-molded defensive answer for Kobe Bryant, in Swiss-born Thabo Sefolosha. At 6-foot-7 and with the telescopic arms that seem to be a Thunder trademark, Sefolosha needs no double-team help. He can pressure Bryant without sacrificing body position to bother his drives. In the five games, Bryant was shooting 32.8 percent against Oklahoma City, which also can put James Harden on Bryant and get away with it. Sefolosha only played 19 and 17 minutes in Game 1 and 2 of this series. Still, he sets a tone. He is there in Bryant’s two most critical quarters, the first and fourth, and he was there to shadow Bryant at the end of Game 2 , the game that ended with Steve Blake missing from the corner.
LA’s (5-5, 4-1 H) Kobe Bryant made 18 free throws without a miss, scored 14 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers rallied late for a 99-96 victory, cutting the Thunder’s second-round series lead to 2-1. Bynum had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who got 12 points apiece from Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake. The Lakers didn’t appear worried while flirting with an 0-3 deficit, which has never been overcome in NBA history.
The Lakers have no choice but to slog through the second game of a back-to-back situation tonight. Advantage, Thunder? “Obviously, the younger you are, you probably can recoup a little bit better,” Lakers Coach Mike Brown said Friday. “But it is what it is. We have to be ready to play [Friday] first and then worry about that second game afterward.” Brown said he would not divvy up his minutes differently to conserve players’ energy for Game 4, saying he was “playing to win” Friday’s game.
The Lakers have had middling success in the second game of back-to-back situations this season, going 9-9. But they don’t plan to alter their approach for Game 4. “Fighting for what we’re fighting for, it’s one of those things where you just have to be ready to go,” point guard Ramon Sessions said. “If you have to play 45 minutes each night, you just have to be ready to go. There’s no looking back right now.”
The Bottom Line: The Lakers might be in trouble tonight, but they can get the win, if Kobe hits from the field. Their bigs must hit as well. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NBA Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NBA Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
Thunder are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Lakers are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5.
Lakers are 13-6 ATS in their last 19 games as a home underdog of 0.5-4.5.
Lakers are 5-13-1 ATS in their last 19 home games.
Lakers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games.
Lakers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 playoff games as an underdog of 0.5-4.5.
Over is 7-1 in Lakers last 8 games following a S.U. win.
Over is 6-1 in Lakers last 7 games playing on 0 days rest.
Over is 5-1 in Lakers last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 8-2-1 in Lakers last 11 Conference Semifinals games.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers
When: Saturday, May 19th@10:30 PM EST
Pick: Lakers +1
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Oklahoma City Thunder vs Los Angeles Lakers 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the tip-off.