Not a lot of positive things can be said when your basketball team is pummeled 90-119 in the first game of a playoff series. The Lakers played as hard as they could for as long as their legs allowed them too, before the younger, more talented, better rested and so, so much better coached team decided to turn things up and run the old vets out of the gym.
The first few minutes (and first quarter in general) offered some sort of hope for Lakers fans, as Bynum kept us close with ten quick points to go along with five rebounds. It was a respectable end to the first quarter, that saw the Lakers down just seven points, with Kobe and Pau yet to make their marks on the game. Good news, right? Problem is, the Thunder were just about to make their mark on the series.
Things quickly fell apart in the second quarter as the Thunder started heating up, making shot after shot. It was soon evident the Lakers were in for a long night as OKC went into the break leading fifteen, and then broke the game wide, wide open. Via NBA.com:
The Lakers finished the first half on shaky ground trailing by 15 points but you had the feeling a little regrouping in the locker room, a few words from Kobe and things might tighten up. The Thunder though had other thoughts and opened the second half by sending the Lakers into deep water with a 9-0 run that turned into a 15-2 run that expanded to a 24-6 run and an 83-50 Thunder lead halfway through the third quarter.
Welp. Nothing more to be said. I'll let these guys take it away:
It got out of hand just after halftime, in highlight-reel fashion. Durant lobbed the ball to Westbrook for a two-handed slam, then connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing to draw a timeout from Lakers coach Mike Brown.
That still didn't slow down Oklahoma City, which got what could have been a costly two-handed dunk from Perkins on its next trip and then another 3 from Durant before Thabo Sefolosha swiped the ball from Bryant and ran out for a layup that made it 74-46 with 8:39 left in the period.
Both coaches started going to their benches with 8 1/2 minutes left, and Los Angeles reserve Devin Ebanks ended up getting ejected with 2:18 to play after walking up to a scrum for the ball after the whistle. Official Greg Willard said at the scorer's table that he was ejected for "what he said" in drawing a technical foul. It ended up tying for the 12th-worst blowout in Lakers playoff history.
We were a little worried about rust but we did a lot of scrimmaging to stay sharp (during the layoff). We just have a team full of gym rats, our guys just wanna play basketball. But this is just one game it doesn't matter if we won by one point or 30 points we have to play well Wednesday night.
Rust wasn't a problem, but Russ was. Speaking of which:
Oklahoma City is 17-1 when Westbrook has two turnovers or less.
Give OKC credit they did a terrific job. Westbrook and Durant got loose for jump shots that weren't contested. We had problems defending the pick & roll and our weakside defense wasn't very good. They were very physical and made our offense look stagnant at times.
massacre game, Wednesday night.