Quick Turnaround For Thunder, Lakers

LOS ANGELES – The Lakers and Thunder, after playing 2 hours 43 minutes without overtime Friday night, return to Staples Center tonight for Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals and the rarity of a postseason back-to-back.

It is a particular challenge for the older Lakers at a time they need a win to avoid what would be a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 deficit as the series shifts back to Oklahoma City.

“It’s going to take a mental commitment on our part in order to fight through the fatigue we might feel (Saturday),” Pau Gasol said after the Lakers grinded out a victory in Game 3. “It’s going to be all will and desire and effort. Just pushing ourselves through everything and anything that we might be feeling or going on out there.”

The Lakers are playing on consecutive days in the playoffs for the first time since May 22-23, 1999, in the second round against the Spurs.

“It’ll be a little different,” Steve Blake said of a back-to-back in the regular season compared to the playoffs. “The intensity. A back-to-back during the regular season, sometimes the first quarter can be a little bit lull. But I don’t think it’ll be that way tomorrow night.”

Other topics heading into Game 4:

*The Thunder will be watching Kendrick Perkins closely to see how he responds to the back-to-back in the wake of missing parts of two of the last four games because of a strained hip muscle. He played 31 minutes Friday, and coach Scott Brooks said there are no time restrictions for the starting center.

*There is no indication the Lakers are considering a change in the opening lineup, but coach Mike Brown clearly prefers Blake over starter Ramon Sessions at point guard at the end of close games now. It has happened twice in a row, the wrenching defeat Wednesday and the victory Friday, as Sessions is down to 38.4 percent from the field in the playoffs with just 3.5 assists.

“Obviously Ramon’s been struggling a little bit for us to put the ball in the hole,” Brown said. “I thought (Friday) he did a better job. Even defensively he’s been pretty good for us the last couple games, because Russell Westbrook is no easy task. We’ve just got to try to keep making him work as best we can, and that’s what our guys are doing.”

Brown loves Blake’s toughness. As in, it’s something he is not getting from Sessions.


  1. jonski22 says:

    all i see in game4 is kobe’s errors, turn overs and trying to much, he forgot he got a great cast…

  2. Ariane101 says:

    back to back games for LA lakers? seems unfair. Miami got two to three days rest. The schedule should provide one to two days rest after the game. okc can play with their bench well, while lakers need their bigs to defend the lead. ending up tired in the 4th. if they had rest i think they can defend okc better and grab another win at home. Props to durant for the clutch 3. Plus the Young legs of Thunders for awesome fastbreak points. lakerfan here.

    • Belizeboy says:

      If the Lakers being tired is an excuse for game four’s loss, then the 40 free throws they got to shoot in game three would be the reason OKC lost game 3. I was really disgusted with the phantom calls I saw that game. I’m just happy Durant and Westbrook decided to play their game and not worry about the refs in game 4.

  3. NBAfan says:

    this is what happens when Kobe trusts his teammates…hahaha..please trade Gasol…it’s clear he no longer wants to play for the lakers. Go get Lamar and fisher back and trade pau for bosh

  4. NBAJAM12 says:

    thunder strikes again BOOM!!!!! never gave up and playing as a team , unlike kobe hogging the spotlight and ball pretty much lost it for the lakers, thunder is all about team effort perks savage rebounding at the end , westbrook (aka the blurr!) haveing the hot hands, and KD with the dagger trey , serge protector 5 blocks including back to back block on hill which is so hard to do, beard man driving well everyone played there part so proud of there effort to not give up thats championship mind sets THUNDER UP! and give them there respect they deserve

  5. Rav says:

    Why is there a back-to-back in the playoffs?

    • Hustler says:

      Shortened season due to lockout I think also affected the playoff schedule.

    • NBAfan says:

      Clippers playing too….Clippers only in the play offs because CP3 was traded to them….

      THE NEGATION OF THE CP3 trade to the Lakers and to the Clippers SCREWED UP THE LAKERS IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE:

      1. Lamar left anyway and no CP3…a big loss for the Lakers
      2. Pau isn’t playing hard cause they were trying to trade him and his feelings got hurt and all
      3. Clippers and Lakers playing the play offs mean a tough schedule for the Lakers (back to back play off games after a condensed season…just unheard of)

      Anyway…c’est le vie!!! Gotta give it to Durantula and the Thunders…they are hungry and they have the tools to win…IF they beat the Spurs….oh man…you know they’ve officially moved up to being THE TEAM TO BEAT in the whole NBA…if they stay in tact.

    • Belizeboy says:

      It’s because Lakers, Clippers and Kings all are playing right now and they have to manage the time for each of them to use the arena.

  6. Nelson says:

    As long Kobe playing along with Bynum and Gasol, Nothing is impossible

  7. LIndie says:

    Reality Check. Kobe is not what he use to be. If Bynum and Gasol don’t bring it, the Lakers are done.

  8. LALVSOKC says:

    Lakers have a chance and so does OKC, if Kobe and the Lakers control the flow and put it at a place were the thunder cant control it then Lakers seem to have a good opportunity to win….. this is one of the greatest match ups in the playoffs this year…… LAL WIN IN GAME 7

  9. sun tzu says:

    the lakers win for fun tonight, not kobes last try, he’ll go for his second in a row next year…the bigs take over move each game…..

  10. ERA710924 says:

    So long as the Lakers can continue controlling the tempo…LAL can win this series!!!

  11. MaFox says:

    OKC in 5.

  12. Heatlatinofan says:

    This is Kobe last try to match the great MJ but too bad he will come out shot. Lakers are done. kobe done he is not gonna get 6th as a player. he will probably have to coach to get 6th. byebye lakers for many many seasons

    • LakerDodger420 says:

      This ‘aint Kobe’s last season, he’s got $30 million (one year) left on his contract with the Lakers. Kobe’s not leaving that money on the table. And he’s going to get another contract, the Buss family wants Kobe to retire a Laker, but even if they let him walk, there’s not a team in the world that wouldn’t offer him a deal to start at the 2 guard, even your Heat, over Wade. You should worry about your team losing its best player, Bosh, and keeping your fingers crossed that they make it to the next round.