After an Andrew Bynum bucket with 2:08 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to be sitting pretty. They held a seven-point lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder thanks to nearly 46 minutes of gritty ground-and-pound that made the postseason's best offense — yes, the Thunder entered Wednesday night averaging more points per 100 playoff possessions than even the San Antonio Spurs — look disjointed and stale.
OKC had hit just 39.7 percent of its shots en route to 68 measly points two nights after scoring 119 in Game 1, and didn't appear to be anywhere near getting well against a Laker team that had held it to just 20 second-half points. Unfortunately for the Lakers, appearances can be deceiving.
Whether you'd like to laud Kevin Durant for the win, damn Kobe Bryant for the loss, do neither or choose both, the fact remains that Oklahoma City went on a 9-0 run in the final 128 seconds to score a 77-75 Game 2 win, take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series and deliver a serious haymaker to L.A.'s spirits as it heads home for Friday night's Game 3. The Lakers blew this one, and their center knows it.
Bynum (20 points on 8-of-19 shooting and nine rebounds in the loss) said as much with a sharp, somewhat curious postgame turn of phrase that was shared by the Lakers' Twitter account and later expounded upon by Sekou Smith at NBA.com's Hang Time blog:
The Lakers led 75-68 with two minutes to play with the game seemingly in hand. But instead of the veteran Lakers salting this one away with Kobe Bryant finishing the deal, the Lakers lost control of the game and basically gave it away.
"We're better than Santa Claus giving out gifts," said Lakers center Andrew Bynum. "We like giving out gifts. We give out games, contracts and rings."
"We give out games, contracts and rings." What's that about?Read More »from Andrew Bynum after 9-0 Thunder run beats Lakers: ‘We’re better than Santa Claus’