The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of their Western Conference semifinal series on Saturday night at the Staples Center. The Lakers were looking to even up the best-of-seven series at two games apiece, but despite leading by a significant margin for nearly all of the game, the Lakers took a 103-100 loss and are now one game away from elimination.
The Lakers opened up an early lead and entered halftime on top by a score of 56-46. Heading into the fourth quarter, Los Angeles held an 80-71 lead. The Thunder refused to go quietly, of course, battling back to within four points in the final three minutes of regulation.
The Thunder pulled ahead within the final two minutes, but Kobe Bryant's free throws tied things up again. A Lakers turnover in the final 30 seconds led to a 25-foot three-pointer by Kevin Durant with 13.7 seconds left to give OKC a 101-98 lead.
Bryant missed a three with 7.3 seconds left and the Lakers were forced to foul. James Harden nailed both free throws to go up by five with less than 10 seconds left in the game. The Lakers scuffled on their final possession and could only manage a short Bryant jumper at the buzzer, taking the loss.
Bryant led all scorers with 38 points. Andrew Bynum added 18 points and nine rebounds in the losing effort. Russell Westbrook had 37 points for the Thunder, while Durant had 31 points and 13 rebounds.