OKLAHOMA CITY (NBA.com exclusive) -- With the score tied 90-90, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant stood just beyond the 3-point stripe with the clock winding down through single digits, a sellout crowd roaring and the game on the line.
Instead of driving in and challenging Lakers center Andrew Bynum, Durant took a couple of dribbles and fired a 3-point shot that could have won the game for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Instead of swishing through the net, the basketball hit nothing but air and the Lakers beat Oklahoma City in overtime 101-98.
The 3-point shot was not what Thunder coach Scott Brooks wanted from his star.
"I thought he had a chance to attack Bynum," Brooks said. "Kevin thought he could make that shot."
Durant finished with 28 points but they all came in the first three quarters. His only shot in the fourth quarter was the miss at the end of regulation and he was 0-for-4 in the overtime period. He also committed seven turnovers.
The Thunder star was coming off a 3-for-21 performance against Portland and Durant barely talked to reporters after the game.
"I had a chance to win the game and I missed the shot," Durant said with his head down. A reporter asked if this loss hurt more because the Thunder had a chance to beat the defending world champions.
"Yeah," was all Durant said and he left the room.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson was happy to escape Oklahoma City with a win.
"They hit some tough shots. Many things happened that kept the complexity of the game tight.," Jackson said.
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant led his team with a game-high 31 points. Bynum had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers shot 52.1percent but turned the ball over 26 times.
Bryant was ill before the game and missed the team's shoot-around, but it was the Thunder who looked sick at the beginning of the contest. Oklahoma City missed its first six shots of the game while the Lakers were hitting their first eight on the way to 9-0, 13-2 and 28-15 leads.
"I liked him [Bryant] sometimes and sometimes I didn't like him," Jackson said. "I think he was a little dehydrated. But he was able to control the game at the end."
While Durant was scoreless from the fourth quarter on, Bryant scored eight points in the fourth and four more in overtime to help lead L.A. to the win.
The Lakers seemed to be cruising early in the game. They led by 13 at 32-19 when things started to turn around. Durant scored six straight points while the Thunder held the Lakers scoreless in the last 1:44 of the quarter to bring the game to within seven points at 32-25.
Oklahoma City charged ahead in the second quarter going on a 22-8 run from late in the first quarter to midway through the second. Durant hit two free throws to give the Thunder its first lead at 41-40.
The Lakers then went on a 10-2 run as Oklahoma City's Nenad Krstic missed a wide open mid-range jumper and then fumbled a pass on the next trip down. Durant was trapped in the corner on the following trip, turning the ball over and L.A. was up 50-43. But the Thunder dominated down the stretch going on an 8-1 run fueled by stout defense and Laker turnovers to trail only 52-51 at the half.
The Thunder and Lakers played even-up in the second half, with Oklahoma City outscoring the defending champs 39-38 to take the game into overtime.
"Our guys really showed a lot of enthusiasm during the game," Brooks said. "We fought back early and competed. You have to give the Lakers a lot of credit. They made great plays when they needed to."
Oklahoma City shot 43.2 percent for the game and turned the ball over 21 times. In addition to Durant's 28 points, Jeff Green added 18 and Thabo Sefalosha and Russell Westbrook scored 12 apiece.