As I wake up the morning after the game, I'm at a complete loss as to what words to type for this recap. It seems as if anything I say will be just too insignificant in terms of this game. It was like I was living in a dream. I mean, my team, beating the Lakers? For the record, none of my teams have ever beaten the Lakers, unless you count the 2 year fling with the Hornets. So this game was very special to me, and it was pretty surreal. It was like our team had finally moved the mountain. And they have in this game, a game that I am officially declaring the best in franchise history.
But, how did this blowout loss happen? Well, it's rare that I'll say things like this, but the primary reason is effort. I know it's a cliche thing to say, and you hear it on Sports Radio Shows all of the time. But in truth, it really was effort. The Lakers came out of the gate stumbling, and stumbling hard. Ron Artest seemed to be the only player even caring about the game on an emotional level. Both teams were honestly doing pretty bad until there was about 8 and a half minutes to go when Russell Westbrook hit an And 1. That's when the floodgates really opened for the Thunder.
Below: More Analysis, Awards
The Thunder just kept pounding it inside, while all of the Lakers stood around like it was a Loiterers convention. In fact, it got so bad for the Lakers on defense that sometimes, they'd just let the Thunder shoot open 3s. I swear. Green or Sefolosha would be open, WIDE OPEN on the corner. And they wouldn't even go towards them or put a hand in their face. Are you kidding me? This happened moreso in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
The story wasn't very good for the Lakers offensively, either. They'd work around for an open shot, and then they'd just completely brick it. Other times, they'd throw extremely bad passes into the post that would get stolen, or get extremely lazy while dribbling it on the perimeter and get it stolen. Westbrook had 4 Steals, and Green and Harden had 3. That's insanely high for players who played for a full game, much less for only 3 quarters.
By the end of the third, the game was all over, and the Lakers started putting in their all-stars, like Adam Morrison. They managed to make a bit of a run on the Thunder bench, and it was obvious they wouldn't make a full comeback, but Scott Brooks put his players in there for a party anyway.
The single most amazing stat to me is that we held the Lakers to 45 points in 3 Quarters. The whole time, I kept thinking of the point at which the Lakers would mount their comeback, but it never came. Just....wow.
Without further ado, let's go to the awards....
Thunder Wonder: Nenad Krstic, 10 Points, 4-5 Shooting, 10 Rebounds, 1 Assist. Damn right it's Nenad! He played the Lakers interior tough all game, and he was getting down and dirty, too. This isn't your typical "pick and pop" Nenad Krstic. Not to mention the fact that he pretty much propelled the Thunder to their initial lead. Nenad, you deserve this.
Thunder Down Under: The Rest of the Thunder Starters. I just can't separate anyone else from the pack. Everybody did their respective job in their respective department. It was an excellent showing.
Thunder Blunder: The Thunder bench. Okay, they don't really deserve this award, but they were missing shots left and right when it got down to garbage time. Their complete lack of offense, namely from James Harden, forced the Thunder to put their offense back out there. Eric Maynor wasn't very good at moving the ball, either.
Thunder Plunderer: Lamar Odom, 15 Points, 7-16 Shooting, 7 Rebounds, 1 Steal. The only semi-decent performance from the Lakers tonight. Kobe had 9 ghastly turnovers.
Next Game: Versus the Trail Blazers, Sunday, March 28th, 6 PM Central Daylight Time
Is anybody ready for a 3 game win streak!?