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Lakers have uphill battle vs. Thunder

Updated: May 14, 2012, 1:27 PM ET
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- It was like old times at Staples Center on Saturday night. The Lakers won a Game 7 at home for the first time since the 2010 NBA Finals, purple and gold streamers rained from the ceiling, Randy Newman's "I love L.A." blasted from the speakers and Kobe Bryant walked off the court with his hands raised in the air.

In Los Angeles' knee-jerk sports culture, it's entirely possible a Lakers playoff win like this might once again spark widespread optimism that this postseason ...

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