Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 4 Saturday night to the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-100. The Lakers lost a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Thunder finished the game on a 13-4 run.
Kobe made his share of mistakes but played the best of any Lakers player in the last two games. He scored 38 points last night and has attempted 35 free throws in the last two games.
Kobe’s aggressiveness isn’t an issue but he thinks Pau Gasol’s is.
“Pau’s got to be more assertive,” Kobe said. “He’s the guy out there that we need. When he’s getting the ball he’s looking to pass. He’s got to be aggressive. He’s got to shoot the ball. He’s got to drive the ball to the basket and he will in the next game.”
Before Kevin Durant made the game-winning 3-pointers, the Lakers had the ball with the score tied at 98 and a chance to regain the lead.
Kobe and Gasol played the pick-and-roll and a double team forced Kobe to pass to Gasol who received the ball wide open from about 12-feet from the hoop.
Gasol bizarrely decided not to shoot and instead attempt a skip pass to Metta World Peace on the opposite wing which Durant intercepted.
“It was just a bad read,” Kobe said. “It was just a bad read on Pau’s part. It happens.”
In the final minutes of Game 4, the Thunder really turned up the intensity on defense. They hadn’t been doing a good job of stopping the Lakers all night but were able to completely turn that around on the final possessions.
Gasol seemed to become indecisive because of this and it resulted in the costly turnover. The Lakers will certainly need more from Gasol if they are going to come back from this 3-1 deficit and beat the Thunder in the series.