The Los Angeles Lakers have a tough task on their hands as they return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday night at Staples Center in Game 3 of their second round NBA playoff series. The Lakers held a seven-point lead with two minutes remaining in Game 2, but gave the game away by surrendering the final nine points and now face a daunting 0-2 hole.
The Lakers have been down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series 19 times in their franchise history, and have lost 17 of those series. The only wins came in the 1969 division semifinals against San Francisco and in the 2004 conference semifinals against San Antonio. The latter series featured the Derek Fisher three-pointer with 0.4 second remaining in Game 5 to stun the Spurs.
It seems the Lakers will need a similar miracle against the Thunder to avoid an uninspiring series loss in the second round for the second year in a row.
Kobe Bryant has scored 20 points in each of the first two games of the series, but he is shooting just 37.2% from the field, including 1-for-9 from three-point range. Andrew Bynum has also scored 20 points in each of the first two games, and is averaging 11.5 rebounds per game.
Pau Gasol has averaged 12.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game so far in the series. Point guard Ramon Sessions has been completely neutralized, averaging just 2.0 points on 2-of-10 shooting, with just three assists in 51 minutes in the first two games.