2010 NBA Playoffs: Kobe Bryant Crisis Costs Lakers Game Three in OKC

Judging by the number of shots Kobe Bryant fired Thursday night, one has to wonder if he knows if OKC stands for Oklahoma City and not OK Corral.

Bryant took 29 shots, including 11 three-point attempts, in what resulted in a 101-96 Lakers loss to the Thunder. His attempts from downtown were just one short of matching Pau Gasol, who at 12 shots, put up the second-most attempts on the team.

Therein lies a problem that must be addressed with a question.

Why is Bryant taking 29 shots and Gasol, the most talented offensive big man in the game, only 12?

Your guess is as good as mine.

I don't care what excuses Lakers fans have for Game Three. 

The reality is, Bryant single-handedly lost that game by continuously forcing one bad shot after another, when it was obvious his stroke was off.  

The one play that best summed up Bryant's terrible performance, which included just 10 makes and zero trips to the free throw line, came with the Lakers down four points and one minute left to play.

Not once did Kobe look inside to Gasol. 

Not once did Kobe try to drive to the hoop. 

Instead he just dribbled the shot clock down to eight seconds, pulled up from 24-feet out, in Kevin Durant's face, and bricked a shot off the back of the rim.

Oklahoma grabbed the rebound but failed to score, giving Kobe another shot, down four, with 15 seconds left.

This time Kobe went straight to the hole for the layup.

Why didn't he do that on the previous position?  Or earlier ones?

With 7:47 left, and the Lakers down four, Kobe missed a long jumper. 

With 5:58 left, down two, he missed a three-pointer.

Sixteen seconds later, down four, he had a midrange jumper blocked.

Thirty-seven seconds later, down six, he bricked another three-pointer.

Oklahoma took...

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