Below is a running diary of L.A.’s Monday evening Game 1 2nd Round playoff game at Oklahoma City, with some comments drawn from our @LakersReporter Twitter account, and a few more details in case you missed any of the action:
Lakers: Sessions, Bryant, World Peace, Gasol and Bynum
OKC: R. Westbrook, T. Sefolosha, K. Durant, S. Ibaka, K. Perkins
10:39 Making the first two plays through a Thunderous OKC crowd screaming at everything was World Peace, booed upon his every touch, as he first rose to hit a triple and then nicely found Bynum for a dunk that put LAL up 5-4. The initial “Beat L.A.” chant was louder than most arenas get in overtime games.
5:59 Bynum was fully engaged, starting in excellent fashion on offense, making all three of his shots plus two free throws for eight early points. That put L.A. up 18-16 despite eight from Westbrook on the other end (three pull-up jumpers, 2 FT’s).
3:04 A problem LAL worried about prior to the series arose quickly, as Durant, Westbrook and Harden all drew calls while driving to the rim. Bryant was so mad that Mike Brown called time out to settle the troops (there had also been an obviously deflection off Harden that the ref didn’t see and gave to OKC, which really got to Kobe). After Harden’s and-1, the lead was 25-19, the crowd continuing to go nuts. Three minutes later, the lead was 30-23, as Daequan Cook hit a last-second baseline J to counter Kobe’s first field goal. OKC shot 50% to LAL’s 44.4%, and took advantage of five LAL turnovers.
8:39 While the Lakers got two tip ins from Gasol, a la Game 7 vs. Denver (11 offensive boards, an absurd number of tip ins), OKC was scoring despite having four non-scorers alongside James Harden. Cook hit a three (he’s more of a shooter than a scorer), Nick Collison a driving dunk and Nazr Mohammad a put-back of Harden’s miss to put the Thunder up 37-28.
6:34 The hole was suddenly much bigger, with LAL missing shots and turning the ball over, a 9-2 OKC run producing a 44-31 lead, thanks mostly to Harden, who converted an and-1 and stole Gasol’s pass to Kobe on the perimeter before coasting easily for a dunk. It was the seventh Lakers turnover, to just one for OKC. LAL did stop the momentum moments later when Scott Brooks put out a small ball line up with Durant at the 4, with both Sessions and World Peace scoring at the rim to cut the lead to 50-42.
0:00 Bynum’s leaner was the only LAL field goal in the final three minutes, the Thunder taking advantage on the other end to close the quarter on a 9-2 run that opened a 59-44 lead at the half. The Lakers had eight turnovers to OKC’s one, and struggled to get good looks on offense. OKC had nine days to prep for the Lakers (whom it seemed most likely they’d play after LAL opened a 3-1 lead on Denver), and they seem to have found a good game plan.
10:41 Already down 15, the third started like this: Durant pull-up J (good); Bryant long 2 (miss); Westbrook alley-oop dunk; Sessions missed J; Durant pull-up 3 (good). The result, a 66-44 lead before the Lakers could blink. OKC had been chomping at the bit since sweeping the Mavs back on May 5, LAL needing until May 12 to finish Denver off in Round 1, and the Lakers certainly looked to be tired while OKC sprinted up and down.
5:30 With OKC scoring so easily, hitting everything they threw up as L.A. struggled to pressure the ball, the lead soon ballooned to 31 at 83-52, the main question starting to become how long Mike Brown would play his starters. One of them, Bynum, had a quiet 20-point, 14-rebound double-double despite the scoreline.
0:00 With the Thunder making 12 of 15 FG’s in the third before two late misses, hanging around 60 percent from the field plus 21 of 25 free throw makes (all but one from Durant, Westbrook and Harden), the margin was 30 after three. Matt Barnes did hit two three-pointers to snap a cold streak from the first round, and Bryant reached 20 points by taking 18 shots, but this one had long been decided.
10:00 Brown decided to keep Gasol and World Peace in the game, a baseline J getting Gasol to just eight points with his seven boards, while Sessions returned for World Peace two minutes in. OKC had its entire second group out, led by Harden, whose nine free throws helped him to 17 bench points, keeping the lead at 30.
6:00 Starters minutes: Kobe (32); Bynum (31); Gasol (30); MWP (32); Sessions (26). That’s all for this line (lead stayed in the 20′s).
1:00 Devin Ebanks, just in for the final few minutes, got ejected seemingly for a shove, and took his jersey off while exiting the building. Rookies Morris and Goudelock did hit three-pointers in the final two minutes, but the game ended on a Derek Fisher three in the final minute, the margin mercifully closing at 119-90. Game 2 is on Wednesday.