March 29, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) grabs Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) during the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Thunder won 102-93. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

2012 NBA Playoffs, Thunder Vs. Lakers: Los Angeles Edges Oklahoma City, 99-96

The Thunder failed to take a commanding 3-0 series lead on Friday night, as Los Angeles held off Oklahoma City with a 99-96 win.

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Lakers-Thunder Outcome Could Depend On Tempo For Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

One great NBA scorer is going to want a slower game with a chance to set up his halfcourt offense. The other is going to want to run with the pack and keep things moving quickly. Either Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant is going to get his way and the winner of game three between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers could depend on tempo. That's what Royce Young of the Daily Thunder believes.

He writes, "Tempo. The Thunder want to run, the Lakers do not. Pretty simple, pretty straightforward. Game 1 was played in stark contrast to Game 2, and the Lakers got the game slowed to how they want it. Grind out halfcourt possessions, with fewer touches for the Thunder, which means less shots for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Thunder don't necessarily need transition points, but a more frantic pace certainly is preferable."

When the Thunder kept things moving, game one turned into a joke for the Lakers. In game two, things were the opposite and they had a chance to win in the end. Despite the final outcomes, the two games were very different and the series could easily be 1-1 at this point.

Expect the Lakers to do everything they can to stall the flow. At this point, they have to find something that works so they're not against the ropes after only three games.

For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City. L.A. Lakers news and info can be found at Silver Screen And Roll, and all your NBA news and info is available at SB Nation's NBA page.


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Lakers Vs. Thunder: Steve Blake 'Upset' About Threats Made Against Family

Fans are understandably upset when their favorite team loses and oftentimes the player who performed the worst receives the lion’s share of the backlash. In Steve Blake’s case, missing the final three pointer against the Oklahoma City Thunder has brought more than just disappointment from Los Angeles Lakers fans. Instead, he’s dealing with threats against both himself and his family.

The Lakers point guard missed a last second shot that would have given the Lakers game two of the second round series in the 2012 NBA playoffs. Instead, LA is now down two games to none in a best of seven series.

“It’s pretty disappointing that there’s a lot of hateful people out there,” Blake told the Times after the Lakers’ practice Thursday at the team’s facility in El Segundo. “You move on. I just don’t appreciate it when it’s toward my family. You can come at me all you want. But when you say things about my wife and my kids, it makes me upset.”

Blake and the rest of the Lakers will have a chance to gain some measure of on-court revenge against the Thunder when they play game three tonight.

For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City. L.A. Lakers news and info can be found at Silver Screen And Roll, and all your NBA news and info is available at SB Nation's NBA page.

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