The Lakers handled the Thunder very well in Game 5, winning 111-87. Kobe Bryant only had 13 points and 7 assists, but he controlled the game in other ways.
Bryant took it upon himself to guard Russell Westbrook, who had 15 points as opposed to his series average of 21 points. He also had 8 turnovers.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 26 points on a dreadful 5 for 23 shooting night. Westbrook had 21 points and nine assists. The two combined to score every point in the rally that put Oklahoma City up 94-91 but then couldn’t close out the game.
“I’m a competitor. I want to win every game I play,” Durant said. “I want to be a champion, and stuff like this hurts. I work so hard, we work so hard as a group, that I think that every time we step on the floor we should win.”
Gasol had nine points and 18 rebounds for the lakers.
“It was tough to get a bucket because both defenses were just playing super hard and giving it all out there,” said Gasol, who was scoreless in the second half before the tip-in. “The last shot, I kept battling, kept hustling. I didn’t have a good second half, I didn’t have my best shooting night but I continued to work and continued to be effective rebounding and just keeping balls alive.
“Luckily, I pursued that ball and put it in and we won the ballgame.”
Famar had 14 points as Odom had an all-around game with 7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks.
With less than 40 hours after finishing off the Thunder, the Lakers were due to start the second round back at home.
“We’ll be ready,” Bryant said.