Andrew Bynum got the Staples Center crowd to their feet with a killer one-handed dunk over Nenad Krstic in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 87-79 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their playoff series opener Sunday.
“It kind of got me going,” Bynum said. “It hyped the team up. That’s the kind of player I can be — exciting.”
After missing four of the final five regular season games to rest his swollen right knee and broken right index finger, Kobe Bryant had 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting and Gasol scored 19 points, with Bynum adding 13.
“We could’ve definitely played a lot better, but at this stage you just got to win games,” Bryant said. “It doesn’t really matter how.”
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points on 7-of-24 shooting in his playoff debut.
“I was frustrated,” said Durant, who tossed up some airballs and went 9 of 11 from the line. “I was missing shots I normally make. They felt good leaving my hand. If I made 4-5 more shots, maybe it’s a different game.”
The Lakers were on fire against the Thunder, pounding the ball to Bynum and Gasol while shooting 54 percent. The Lakers took a 27-13 lead in the first quarter.
Bryant and Odom hit back to back 3-pointers, extending the lead the Lakers held the entire game to 77-66.
Game 2 in the best-of-7 series is Tuesday at Staples Center.