Thunder clobber Lakers 119-90 in Game 1

Thunder clobber Lakers 119-90 in Game 1
Updated 15 May 2012

Thunder clobber Lakers 119-90 in Game 1

Thunder clobber Lakers 119-90 in Game 1

OKLAHOMA CITY: For the second time in less than a week, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers must figure out how to fight back after a humbling loss.
Bryant responded the first time by calling out his teammates for lackluster effort.
It might not be so simple this time.
Russell Westbrook had 27 points and nine assists, Kevin Durant added 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder blasted the weary Lakers 119-90 Monday night in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals.
This blowout came four days after Bryant’s Lakers trailed by as many as 28 in a loss at Denver, then bounced back to win Game 7. They’ll need to find some answers before Game 2 in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
“I’ve seen both sides of that equation and my experience has taught me just to be patient and to think the game through,” said Bryant, who tied Andrew Bynum for the team lead with 20 points.
“We can come up with a different strategy and we can do a much better job and have a much better showing in the next game.”
The Thunder took a 15-point halftime lead, opened the third quarter with a 15-2 blitz filled with crowd-pleasing 3-pointers and dunks, and never looked back. The final margin ended up being the fourth-largest in the history of the Oklahoma City franchise, including its years in Seattle.
“We got beat tonight. You can say anything you want to about a seven-game series and us having a day or whatever,” Los Angeles coach Mike Brown said. “The bottom line is this is the playoffs, we’ve got to come to play and we didn’t. We got beat.
“It’s one game, so we’ve got to bounce back for the next one.” The Thunder didn’t need any dirty tactics to get even for Metta World Peace’s suspension-worthy elbow that gave Oklahoma City’s James Harden a concussion with a week left in the regular season.
While the Lakers were making a quick turnaround less than 48 hours after ending the first round, the Thunder had eight full days off following their first-round sweep of defending NBA champion Dallas.
That gave starting center Kendrick Perkins time — but apparently not enough — to rest a strained muscle in his right hip after he hurt it in the final game of the Dallas series. He limped out of the game after dunking just after halftime and did not return — although coach Scott Brooks said he could have.
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 Brown.
That still didn’t slow 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.
“Obviously, they’re more well-rested than we are, but I don’t think it made that much of a difference for us,” Bryant said.
“We could have had the same amount of days off. They’re just younger and faster. And tonight, what you saw is them executing extremely well.”
The buildup to the game focused largely on it being the first meeting between the teams since World Peace got a seven-game suspension for elbowing Harden. He returned just in time to help L.A. win Game 7 against Denver.
A sold-out crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena wasn’t happy to see him back, although World Peace — who changed his name from Ron Artest — was hardly fazed by the chorus of boos that greeted him during pregame introductions or again whenever he has the ball.
World Peace knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key amid boos the first time he touched the ball, set up a two-handed jam by Bynum and drilled another 3 within the first 2 1/2 minutes.
Celtics 82 Sixers 81: In Boston, Evan Turner made the go-ahead layup with 40.4 seconds left and Philadelphia held off Boston the rest of the way with six straight free throws as the 76ers evened the second-round Eastern Conference series with an 82-81 victory Monday night.
Turner finished with 10 points, including his layup that put the Sixers up 76-75. He added two free throws with 12 seconds to go.
Jrue Holiday scored 18 points and Andre Iguodala added 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Sixers.
Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Ray Allen scored 17 points for the Celtics.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia won its first playoff game in Boston since 1982 despite committing a playoff-high 19 turnovers and getting outrebounded 47-36.