The Los Angeles Lakers are favorites to reach the NBA Finals, but don’t tell that to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Washington native Kevin Durant scored 22 points and former Georgetown star Jeff Green added 18 points to help Oklahoma City dominate Los Angeles, 110-89, in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round matchup. The series is now tied at 2-2, despite many pundits projecting a sweep after Los Angeles leaped out to a 2-0 lead.
“A lot of people didn’t expect us to be here and once we got here, people were saying we were going to get swept and a lot of different things,” Durant told reporters. “We knew what we were capable of and how hard we play every day and how hard we practice every day. With those attributes, I think that we can go far as a team. It’s all on us. We control our own destiny at this point.”
Oklahoma City knew that if they were going to control their own destiny, they would have to win their first two games at home, just as Los Angeles did.
“This is as big as a game can possibly be,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks told the media. “You’re playing against one of the best teams in the playoffs on your home floor. Like I told the guys after the game, the Lakers did a good job the first two games. They took care of their home court. We did the same thing.”
Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant, who admitted to reporters that his team was expecting the series to be over by now, finished with only 13 points in the game.
“Our expectation is we wanted to win both of these games and be done with it. I think that’s every team’s mindset coming on the road being up 2-0,” Bryant said. “It’s not the reality of the situation. We’ve got a tough fight, and it should be fun.”
Game 5 of the series will tip off on Tuesday, April 27.