Pau! Pau! You’re Dead: Gasol Putback Ends Thunder Season and Saves Lakers


As John Sterling (the voice of the New York Yankees) would put it if he were calling this game, the Lakers Win! Theeeee Lakers Win!

Yes, the Lakers beat the Thunder in a Game Six thriller, 95-94 that was as thrilling and fun to watch as any game so far this playoff season (well, maybe that Game Four in the Miami-Boston series would rank up there for me personally, since I'm a Heat fan, but you know what I

Down 94-93, Kobe Bryant lofted a 13-Foot jumper along the right baseline with 1.8 seconds to go in the hard-fought battle between his World Champion Los Angeles Lakers and the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder franchise led by two young superstars, and you just knew it was going to go in and seal the fate of the fledgling eighth-seeded squad.

However, surprisingly, that shot didn’t go in, yet luck be a lady tonight, the magic was with the Lakers in the end. Pau Gasol grabbed the rebound and scored a putback layup with just 0.5 seconds left on the clock, effectively sealing the deal for the Lakers as they closed out Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and company in one of the most hard-fought 4-2 series victories they’ve likely ever played in the first round.

Gasol’s brilliance on the court wasn’t confined to that one putback, either, as he finished the night with 18 rebounds. Sure, he went 4-of-11 from the field, and only scored nine points, but his contributions on the boards, quite literally, saved the season for the NBA Champion Lakers.

For who knows what might have occurred had Kobe’s shot simply clanged off the rim and bounced into the hands of a Thunder player? The Lakers had home-court advantage for Game Seven, but that’s never a guarantee.

Despite Bryant’s errant shot in the end, he too played brilliantly, scoring 32 points on 12-of-25 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, and 5-of-7 from the charity stri...

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