The Los Angeles Lakers are on the brink of elimination tonight, Monday May 21st, as they visit Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder for Game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals. LA gave up a fourth quarter lead to give the Thunder a 3-1 lead in the best of seven series. NBA oddsmakers have the Thunder as -7.5 point home favorites over the Lakers with the over/under set at 191.5 points. Be sure to check the Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder Game 5 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the game tips-off.
LA (5-6, 1-4 V) blew a fourth-quarter lead to the Thunder in Game 4 on Friday. Kobe Bryant lashed out at his teammates for not being aggressive enough, pointing an accusatory finger at Spanish teammate Pau Gasol. Kobe Bryant, who scored eight of his team’s final 10 points in Friday’s Game 3 win, had 38 to pace Los Angeles.
As much as the Lakers can point fingers at each other’s missed shots and missed plays in this series, they also can look to Durant and Russell Westbrook for the reasons they’re in their predicament. Those two have been dynamic. There’s been no one capable of responding consistently for the Lakers, however. “It is what it is,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to go to OKC and take care of business. We’re all upset and extremely frustrated. “(But) I don’t think anybody is particularly worried about going to OKC and getting a win.”
The Lakers, who were behind 2-0 in this series heading into this past weekend, are just 2-17 all-time in playoff series when facing such a deficit.
The past three games have been decided in the final minutes, with the Thunder winning twice. The past three games have been played at the Lakers’ desired pace, slower rather than faster, but the Lakers haven’t excelled at finishing off the Thunder. The Lakers offense went stagnant and their defense was broken down. “It’s one play, one mistake,” Gasol said. “There were a lot of mistakes in that fourth quarter, a lot of mistakes throughout the game, so obviously if I could have gone back, maybe I could have shot it and I would have.”
OKC (7-1, 4-0 H) trailed by as many as 13 in Game 4 but closed with a 25-9 run to put the Lakers on the brink. Kevin Durant finished with 31 points, Russell Westbrook had a team-high 37 and the Oklahoma City franchise earned its first road playoff win over the Lakers in its last 15 tries.
All postseason, OKC has closed out games in grand fashion. The Lakers, in Game 4, simply became the latest victim of the Thunder and its ability to storm back from a fourth-quarter deficit and secure a win. That trait, not Westbrook’s explosiveness or Kevin Durant’s daggers or James Harden’s surgeon-like precision in the pick-and-roll, has been the most impressive thing about the Thunder’s playoff run thus far. Four of the Thunder’s seven playoff wins have come by three points or less. Another victory was decided by just six points. Of those five wins, the Thunder trailed by 13 points in the fourth quarter of two games, by seven in the fourth period of two others and by one with a minute remaining in the other.
The Bottom Line: For the Lakers to win, every starter has to contribute, just like OKC. But, I think the Lakers are in trouble tonight. 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:
Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Oklahoma City.
Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Favorite is 9-4-1 ATS in the last 14 meetings.
Lakers are 2-5-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings.
Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Western Conference.
Lakers are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a S.U. loss.
Lakers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 playoff games as an underdog.
Thunder are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games.
Thunder are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games as a home favorite of 5.0-10.5.
Thunder are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder
When: Monday, May 21st@9:30 PM EST
Pick: OKC -7.5
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Los Angeles Lakers vs Oklahoma City Thunder 2012 NBA Point Spreads before the tip-off.