Lakers' Blake, wife target of attacks on Twitter

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By GREG BEACHAM, Associated Press

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Lakers guard Steve Blake and his wife received multiple online threats after he missed a big shot late in Game 2 of Los Angeles' second-round playoff series with Oklahoma City.

Blake has contacted the Lakers' security team about the threats, the backup point guard said Friday during shootaround for Game 3.

Blake barely missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with about 3 seconds left in the Lakers' 77-75 loss to the Thunder on Wednesday night. The third-seeded Lakers already had blown a seven-point lead in the final 2 minutes of regulation, and they fell into a 0-2 hole in the series.

"I let our security people know about it, and kind of kept a record of what was said just in case, but other than that, try not to make a big deal out of it," Blake said.

Blake said he and his wife, Kristen, were besieged on Twitter by curses, threats, and "people saying things I don't even really want to repeat. It's an unfortunate situation, but it's the mental side of the game. You've got to be better than that."

Blake rarely tweets, but his wife is a frequent user of social media. The family has three young children.

"I hope your family gets murdered," read one post that Kristen Blake re-tweeted with the comment, "Wow."

Lakers coach Mike Brown became visibly upset when asked about the abuse before Friday's game, calling it "a doggone shame." Brown is no stranger to vicious criticism after five years coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers and one season with the Lakers.

"Everybody has families. You don't want to touch that," Brown said. "That gets me emotional right there. I feel bad for him. ... Steve is a tough guy."

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks concurred.

"Doesn't make sense," Brooks said. "It is an important game for both teams, but it's not that important. It makes no sense."

Blake was a Lakers hero when he hit a huge 3-pointer during a victory over Denver in Game 4 of the first round, and he scored a playoff career-high 19 points in Los Angeles' Game 7 victory over the Nuggets.

The veteran guard was taken aback by the online vitriol directed at him for just one shot.

"It is the unfortunate side of pro sports," said Blake, who won an NCAA title at Maryland. "Everyone is criticizing, and sometimes people cross the line. But you've got to move past it, be the positive person, and I think that's the approach me and my wife are trying to take with it."

Kristen Blake tweeted that she blocked 500 people from viewing her account. She tweeted Friday: "I am deeply grateful & humbled by the outpouring of love, support, & most of all prayers for our family in light of recent events-THANK YOU!"

Steve Blake said he isn't worried about the threats affecting his three sons. The oldest, Zachary, is only 5 years old.

"They don't know what Twitter is," Blake said. "There's nothing that will stop me from protecting my kids no matter what. We'll move past it and take the positive approach no matter what."

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