In what can only be described as as a complete smashing, the Oklahoma City Thunder have defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 112-79. It was the second to last game of Kobe Bryant's career, and he had some moments. Bryant was 4 of 10 in the first half, with a couple of transition threes. But Kobe was 0-2 with 2 turnovers in the third quarter. Three of those possessions went directly to Thunder points. And Kobe couldn't get much of anything when matched up by KD. But this game was moreso about Kobe's legacy. Kobe jerseys adorned the crowd, and fans chanted for Kobe to re-enter the game twice during the fourth quarter. As Kobe left the floor, OKC gave him a big cheer.
On the Thunder's side of things, Russell Westbrook was able to secure a triple-double in the first half. This hasn't been accomplished in an NBA game since Jason Kidd did it in 2010. In terms of minutes played, Westbrook was just a minute away from breaking Jimmy Walker's long-standing record of quickest triple double ever. Tonight's performance brings Westbrook to 18 triple-doubles on the season. This ties Magic Johnson's tally of 18 triple doubles in the '80-'81 season. That means Westbrook has tied himself for the 8th most triple-doubles of all time, and registered the highest mark we've seen since '80-'81. This Thunder season was truly something to behold.
Kevin Durant is working on a streak of his own. With a 34 point total tonight, Durant has now had 64 straight games of 20 points or more. Funnily enough, this is the first time a player has achieved such a feat since '05-'06. Guess who it was? Kobe Bryant. It was awesome to see KD and Kobe go at it one last time. Kobe caught KD on a pump fake early in the first quarter, and slapped KD on the butt. KD would eventually come out looking a lot better though, shooting 6 of 11 from three. The Lakers were really doubling in the paint, and would foolishly leave KD open sometimes. But there were a couple transition threes as well. The ultimate moment came in the third quarter, when KD turned on Kobe in transition and completed an And 1. KD returned Kobe's earlier favor by slapping Kobe's butt. Kobe was none too pleased.
How did the Thunder win this game?
The Lakers had a bit of momentum early on. The Thunder had 8 first half turnovers, and Enes Kanter was a huge defensive weakness. At least 10 points occurred because Kanter couldn't defend a pick and roll or keep his man out of the paint. Ibaka and Adams let Randle and Hibbert have a couple of jumpers too. But really, the Lakers offense had no consistent teeth or go-to moves. When the turnovers came, there wasn't much to prevent the Thunder from scoring as much as they wanted. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, it was clear this one was all over.
- Marcelo Huertas played really fiery today. Constantly thwacking the ball into the floor and running at high speeds. At one point, he got Ted up for throwing the ball into the basket support.
- Russell Westbrook and Julius Randle got a pretty random double technical from a harshly contested rebound.
- Serge Ibaka was a really frustrating 1 of 12. The jumpers, they just didn't go in.
- Steven Adams was next level awesome tonight. Just some really great defense in the paint and at the rim. Solid hands with the flip shot on offense as always.
- Enes Kanter looked awful. The Lakers have some big bigs, but Kanter kept getting fronted inside and his one fadeaway was way off.
Randy Foye looked really bad, missing
an array ofone open three and easy-ish layups. Good plays, bad execution.
- Anthony Morrow stepped in to hit a couple of threes, was terrific in transition, and smart on defense as well.
- Dion Waiters was 2 of 7, but was actually pretty good as stopping Kobe early on. Waiters also had a block that triggered transition, and a really nice drive off a KD screen. Hoping he gets opportunity when the playoffs come around.
- Payne, Heustis, and Collison all got garbage time minutes.
- Roberson banked in a three, and airballed another. Yeah....
- Kyle Singler did some stuff in transition and played some garbage time.
- "Wilt Chamberlain. Google him!" -Michael Cage
- "Get ready. It's gonna be loud, it's gonna be fun, and we're gonna take care of business." -Russell Westbrook
Thunder Wonder: Russell Westbrook, because of history
Thunder Down Under: Kevin Durant, also because of history
Thunder Blunder: Serge Ibaka, get all your bad shots out now
Thunder Plunderer: Kobe, for keeping the crowd's interest
Next Game: At the San Antonio Spurs, Tuesday, April 12th, 7 PM Central Daylight Time.
What did you think of tonight's game? Drop a comment and let us know!