May 14, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) handles the ball while being guarded by Oklahoma City Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha (2) during the second half in game one of the Western Conference semifinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Game 3 Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder will have a chance to take a strangle hold on their series against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight. The Thunder are up 2-0 in the series so far with tonight being the first of back-to-back games in Los Angeles.

The Thunder showed part of why they are such a great team in the first two games of this series. They won both games and did so in two completely different types of games.

The Thunder took Game 1 in blowout fashion winning 119-90 and running the Lakers off the floor. Then in Game 2, the Lakers were winning for most of the game and it was terribly low-scoring before the Thunder scored the final nine points of the game to steal the victory.

Winning Game 2 like that is a sign that this Thunder team is growing up. They didn’t win those types of games a year ago and here they are now 6-0 in the Playoffs and having won three games that they weren’t supposed to.

The Lakers should be better at home these next two nights but it won’t be easy for them to win two games in two nights against the young legs of the Thunder.

In Game 1 everything went right for the Thunder and they were making their jump shots at a very high rate. That went away some in Game 2 as the Thunder just didn’t look to have much rhythm for the game in general.

Kevin Durant only took 15 shots in Game 2 and Russell Westbrook went 5-for-17. James Harden got into foul trouble in the first half which also contributed to the loss of good rhythm for the team.

Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol looked better but it is still clear that the Thunder bigs can handle the two Lakers bigs. Serge Ibaka in particular played a great Game 2 blocking seven shots.

Kobe Bryant has continued to not shoot the ball well from the field against the Thunder. He shot 30 percent against them in the regular season and went 9-for-25 in Game 2.

More will have to go right for the Lakers than for the Thunder for them to win, no matter home or away.

There were some good signs for the Lakers in Game 2 but nothing that says they will now comeback to win the series.

We will see tonight at 10:30 p.m. EST as the teams will tip in Staples Center.

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Tags: Andrew Bynum Game 3 James Harden Kevin Durant Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers NBA Playoffs Oklahoma City Thunder Pau Gasol Russell Westbrook Serge Ibaka Western Conference Semifinals

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