NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Oklahoma City
(Tuesday, November 3rd)
Final Score: LA Lakers 101, Oklahoma City 98 (OT)
Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant poured in 31 points and hit the go-ahead jumper in overtime, lifting the Los Angeles Lakers to a 101-98 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Andrew Bynum tallied 22 points and 10 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who have won 10 in a row against the Thunder franchise. Ron Artest posted 20 points, six assists and five steals for the Lakers. Lamar Odom ended with 13 points and eight boards as the Lakers moved to 12-2 in their last 14 road openers.
Los Angeles won despite having 26 turnovers, leading to 26 Oklahoma City points. Conversely, the Thunder had 21 turnovers, turning into 26 LA points.
"We got stops, that's what it boiled down to," said Bryant. "There was obviously a free throw shooting contest down the stretch. We made some key defensive plays."
Kevin Durant led the way with 28 points for the Thunder, but he missed all five of his shots after the third quarter. Jeff Green ended with 18 points, while Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook each scored 12 in defeat.
Bryant's fadeaway shot gave the Lakers a 99-97 edge with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the extra session. He was later whistled for an offensive foul with LA ahead by the same score.
Green's free throw cut the deficit in half inside of a minute left and the door was opened for the Thunder when Bryant missed a three-pointer. But Oklahoma City couldn't capitalize as Durant missed a jump shot.
Bryant canned two foul shots with 18 seconds remaining for the three-point difference. Thabo Sefolosha missed a wide open three-point try from the right corner, but the Lakers gave the Thunder life again when Odom missed a pair from the charity stripe with 10.3 seconds left. The second attempt was an air ball.
Westbrook, though, was off the mark on a three-point attempt in the waning seconds and Bryant secured the rebound.
Sefolosha said he had to expend a lot of energy guarding Bryant.
"He's a great player so I really had to step my game up," said Sefolosha. "Every time he touches the ball you know he's going to try and score. It was a lot of effort I had to put into that game."
The Lakers scored the opening nine points and led by as many as 13 in the first quarter before settling for a 32-25 advantage after 12 minutes. Oklahoma City finally moved in front at 41-40 on a pair of Durant foul shots with 4:37 left in the half. The hosts trailed, 52-51 at the break.
It was tight throughout the third with the Thunder gaining a 73-71 edge moving to the fourth.
Green's jumper inside of a minute left pushed the game into overtime.
Since moving to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season, the Lakers are 34-16 in road openers...Bryant is 55 points shy of becoming the 15th player in NBA history to score 24,000 points...The Lakers shot 52.1 percent from the field...Etan Thomas had nine points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City.
11/04 01:58:43 ET