The game was the third NBA playoff contest in 27 hours at Staples Center, which will host six playoff games in hockey and basketball over a four-day stretch this weekend. With the Los Angeles Kings' ice just below the Lakers' court, several players appeared to slip and slide on the floor during the game, and Westbrook nearly did the splits at the halftime buzzer when his right foot slipped.
"I was a little stiff, but we needed this win," Westbrook said.
Oklahoma City appeared to be unhappy with the floor's condition, but Staples Center did nothing different in its changeover, and the referees deemed the floor safe for play. The San Antonio Spurs, on course to meet the Thunder in the conference finals, didn't appear worried about the floor during their win over the Clippers.
Bryant shot poorly in the first three games of the series, but went 10 for 18 in the first three quarters of Game 4 before managing only a 2-of-10 effort in the fourth, including a meaningless bucket at the buzzer.
"We're all upset and extremely frustrated, (but) I don't think anybody is worried about going into Oklahoma City and getting a win," Bryant said. "We don't think about winning three in a row."
Jordan Hill's offensive rebound and layup put the Lakers up 91-78 with 8 minutes left, but longtime Lakers guard Derek Fisher kick-started Oklahoma City's comeback with a 3-pointer.
After Oklahoma City defended its home court with a blowout win in the opener and a comeback from a seven-point deficit in the final 2 minutes of Game 2, the Lakers finally answered Friday night with their own late rally. Los Angeles took control of Game 4 early on while the Thunder struggled with their shots and their footing.
Westbrook slipped near midcourt at the halftime buzzer, his right foot sliding forward when he attempted to stop. He stayed down on the court for an uncomfortably long moment before walking gingerly to the locker room with his hand on his left hip, but got treatment at halftime and returned for the third quarter.
The game was Chapter 4 in the four-day extravaganza at Staples Center. The Kings play Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against Phoenix on Sunday afternoon, followed by the Clippers' fourth game against San Antonio — all while tens of thousands of fans gather outside to watch the Tour of California, the nation's largest cycling race, which finishes on the street outside shortly before the Kings' opening faceoff.
NOTES: The Lakers hadn't played back-to-back postseason games since the second round in 1999, another season shortened by labor strife. ... Westbrook and Perkins were called for technical fouls for angry reactions to contact with the Lakers' point guards. ... Denzel Washington, Allyson Felix and Michelle Kwan attended the game.
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