Russell Westbrook had 27 points and nine assists, Kevin Durant added 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder blasted the weary Los Angeles Lakers 119-90 on Monday night in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals.
The Thunder took a 15-point halftime lead, then opened the third quarter with a 15-2 blitz filled with crowd-pleasing 3-pointers and dunks.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 35 points, getting a measure of vengeance for the elbow Metta World Peace delivered to the head of the Thunder’s James Harden three weeks earlier - and without needing dirty tactics to do it.
Thunder starting center Kendrick Perkins limped off after aggravating a hip injury from the first round.
Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum scored 20 points each for the Lakers and Bynum had 14 rebounds.
The Thunder committed a franchise-record four turnovers…
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…
If the Lakers’ legs were weary, it showed most on the defensive end. Oklahoma City shot 53 percent and the league’s most turnover-prone team committed only one - Harden’s failed alley-oop pass for Durant that banged off the glass and was grabbed by World Peace - while building a 59-44 halftime lead.
– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press