Recap: LA Lakers-OKC Thunder (90-119)
Westbrook had 27 points and nine assists, while Durant added 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder blasted the tired Lakers 119-90 Monday night in the starting game of the Western Conference semifinals.
For the second time in less than a 7 days, Kobe and the LA Lakers must figure out how to fight back after a humbling loss. Oklahoma City shot 46 percent, ending their streak of hitting 50 percent or better in their four previous games.
They outscored the Lakers on second-chance points, had a 25-8 edge in fast-break points and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds. The Thunder led by 15 at the half and by 30 after three quarters.
Russell Westbrook added 27 points and Kevin Durant had 25 as host Oklahoma City trampled Los Angeles in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
James Harden scored 17 points off the bench for the Thunder, who showed no signs of rustiness from an eight-day layoff after sweeping the Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
Westbrook added nine assists and seven rebounds and Durant grabbed eight boards before each took a seat for the fourth quarter.
Andrew Bynum had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Kobe Bryant scored 20 points to pace the Lakers, who were playing two days after closing out Denver and wilted after a fast start. Metta World Peace finished with 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter.
The Thunder seized control in the final 3 1/2 minutes of the second quarter, getting five points from Westbrook in a 9-2 spurt to take a 59-44 lead into halftime.
The Lakers had erased an 18-point deficit to beat the Thunder at the end of the regular season, but Oklahoma City opened the second half with a 9-0 blitz to ensure there would be no comeback. Durant scored 8 points and the Thunder hit their first seven shots in the first four minutes of the third quarter to build the lead to 77-48.
The lead peaked at 35 points for the Thunder, who buried 12 of 17 shots in the quarter to turn it into a 98-68 rout entering the final 12 minutes. World Peace and Harden got twisted up in the fourth quarter fighting for a rebound, but then absolutely nothing came of it.
It is not so much that there is room for progress, due to the fact it would be a bit haughty to proclaim that a 29 point win does not feed the basketball soul entirely. What it does mean though is that when LA tries to adjust, the Thunder will have options to counter the Lakers’ new strategies. Oklahoma City is in the lead, and now LA have to chase. Game 2 will be played Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
The Lakers will face the Thunder at the Los Angeles Staples Center this weekend. Great Seats at Great Prices are still in stock!