Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lakers Play On, Tiger:EPIC Fail

And yes, that's a Carrie Underwood reference for those of you paying attention to the first part of today's title... If nothing else, the Oklahoma City Thunder got the attention of the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers. Not only did the Thunder split the first four games of the best-of-seven series, but they outscored the Lakers by an average of four points a game in doing so. The embarrassing 21 point Game four loss definitely got the Lakers attention. They came back to post an impressive 24 point win at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

Last night, the Lakers controlled the tempo and the game for all but a few minutes. They took a 53-47 lead into halftime and stretched it to 91-84 with 5:09 to play. The Thunder would not go quietly though. Their raucous, 112 decibel-loud crowd urged them to a 10-0 run over the next 2:39. With Two and a half minutes to play, it looked like the Thunder might very well force a game seven.

But it wasn't meant to be for the Thunder. Kobe hit a tough 20 foot jumper from the left side, bringing the Lakers to within a point with 2:11 to play. The teams would alternate several missed shots over the next two minutes. Kobe rebounded a Russell Westbrook miss with 17 seconds to play. You knew who was taking the final shot... or so we thought. Kobe took a tough, fall away 13 footer from the right side of the key with just under two seconds to play. The shot was a touch long. Fortunately for the Lakers, Pau Gasol was there to grab the rebound and lay it in with just 1/2 a second to play to give the Lakers a 95-94 lead! Westbrook's desperation trey from the right baseline as time expired was well short. The Lakers had escaped! Pau only scored 9 points, but he had the two most important ones to go with his 18 boards. Kobe - well all he did was pour in another 32 to go with seven boards. With their 4-2 round one series win, the Lakers now have a date with the Utah Jazz in round two. Game one is at 12:30 tomorrow afternoon at Staples. Go Lakers!

As for the other sports news of the day. Well, in case you didn't hear, Tiger Woods not only missed the cut in the golf tournament at Quail Hollow... he had what could only be termed an EPIC fail of an effort! The world's #1 player shot a 79 in his second tournament back from his self imposed leave from the tour to get his life in order. It was pretty sad to see. Very obviously, his focus is just not there at the moment. Contrast that with the play of 2010 Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who is at six under par after a second round 68 despite battling a nasty infection. Lefty's only two off the lead held by Billy Mayfair at the mid-point of the tourney. For Tiger, it's only his 6th missed cut in 241 career tournaments.


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