Elimination worries for LA

Elimination worries for LA

Durants late three-pointer helps Oklahoma win

A late three-pointer by Kevin Durant capped a dramatic fightback by the Oklahoma City Thunder as they left the Los Angeles Lakers on the verge of playoff elimination with a 103-100 win in Game Four on Saturday.

The second-seeded Thunder stormed from 11 points behind early in the final quarter to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.

Forward Durant finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds while guard Russell Westbrook weighed in with 37 points as Oklahoma City stunned a sellout crowd at Staples Center that had sensed a home win.

“I wanted to run the shot clock down and get the last shot,” Durant told reporters of his dagger blow of a three-pointer with 13.7 seconds remaining. “It left my hand, (and) I was thinking, ‘If this doesn’t go in, it’s going to be a terrible shot’. It was able to go down.”

Kobe Bryant led the way for the third-seeded Lakers with a game-high 38 points and eight rebounds but his team were ultimately let down by poor shooting, a rash of turnovers and a leaking defence over the closing stretch.

“We’re all upset and extremely frustrated, (but) I don’t think anybody is worried about going into Oklahoma City and getting a win,” All-Star guard Bryant said, referring to Game Five on Monday. “We don’t think about winning three in a row. We just think about taking care of business on Monday. Just win that game and go from there.”

Spurs sparkle

The top-seeded San Antonio Spurs pushed the Los Angeles Clippers to the brink of elimination from the playoffs with an astonishing 96-86 comeback win in Game Three.
Trailing by 24 points early in the second quarter, the Spurs seized control through All-Stars Tony Parker and Tim Duncan to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series.  Guard Parker recorded 23 points and 10 assists while towering forward Duncan weighed in with 19 points and 13 rebounds as San Antonio extended their unbeaten run to 17 games, including seven in the playoffs.

Blake Griffin, despite playing with a left hip injury and a sprained right knee, led the way for the Clippers with 28 points and 16 rebounds but his heart-broken team paid the penalty for poor free shooting, making only 50 percent from the stripe.

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