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Bresnahan's Take: Young Thunder takes high road, likely Game 4 too

Oklahoma City Coach Scott Brooks doesn't blame officials for giving the Lakers 42 free throws in a 99-96 Game 3 victory. His youthful squad is the favorite in Game 4 in a rare back-to-back playoff scenario.

May 19, 2012|By Mike Bresnahan
  • Thunder point guard Derek Fisher reacts after getting called for a foul against Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during Game 3 on Friday night at Staples Center.
Thunder point guard Derek Fisher reacts after getting called for a foul… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Shockingly, Scott Brooks didn’t blame the referees.

His players were blindingly faster and approximately 47 years younger at every position than the Lakers, but the Oklahoma City coach merely shrugged after the Lakers were awarded 42 free throws in their 99-96 Game 3 victory on Friday night at Staples Center.

He said his players needed quicker feet. Took the high road.

Saturday is the game of the season for the Lakers. It determines whether they keep hope for a mini-dynasty (three championships in four years).

They can’t rely on that many free-throw attempts again, slow-footed Thunder or not.

They’ll have to do it on their own this time.

Rapid recognition

Brian Shaw was one of three candidates to replace Phil Jackson as the Lakers’ coach. He didn’t get the job.

He also interviewed for a vacancy at Golden State last year. Didn’t get that either.

All he’s doing now is helping the Indiana Pacers in a surprisingly close Eastern Conference semifinal series against Miami.

Shaw holds the title of associate head coach, which means he’s Frank Vogel’s right-hand man for the Pacers.

One day he’ll be a head coach. One day very soon.

Final thought

Playoff games in the same series on back-to-back nights?

Hmmm.

Kobe Bryant is 33 years old. Russell Westbrook is only 23.

Metta World Peace is 32. Kevin Durant is 24.

Pau Gasol is 31. Serge Ibaka is 22.

Oh, and James Harden is 22.

The pick: The Thunder

Bresnahan’s record: 8-2.

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