Russell Westbrook scored 36 points on 13-27 shooting to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 102-93 win over the LA Lakers. The Lakers started strong, leading the Thunder 30-18 after the first quarter. From there, things took a turn for the worse as the offense stalled, and Derek Fisher and Kevin Durant helped trim LA’s halftime lead to 5. In the 2nd half, Westbrook took control of the game, scoring on a steady diet of pull-up jumpers and drives to the hoop. The Thunder outscored LA 34-19 in the 3rd quarter to take the lead and held off a late rally in the 4th quarter to secure the win.
Quarterly Highlights and Observations:
1st Quarter Highlights:
- Sessions with back-to-back impressive plays, scoring on a layup followed by a dish to a cutting Gasol for the dunk
- Sessions controlling the game early, just picked up his 4th assist with a feed to Bynum for an easy dunk
- Kobe is on target early, hitting on 3 of his 1st 4 shots. Good motion from the Lakers offensive set to free Bryant for a short pull up J in the lane.
- Perkins hit with a Technical for an elbow to Gasol.
- Andrew Bynum with 8 pts and 6 boards in the 1st.
- Kobe with a sweet pass to a cutting Gasol for the and-1.
- Kobe wasting no time going at Harden, misses the jumper but McRoberts cleans up with a putback.
- Matt Barnes scores off of a nice curl and dish from Blake.
- Derek Fisher checks in at 2:04 to a well-deserved standing ovation. Bryant promptly posts up Fisher, misses the jumper.
- Kobe showing off the “Dirk” one-leg fadeaway over Royal Ivey.
- Lakers 30 OKC 18 to end the 1st.
1st Quarter Observations:
Physical game early on, refs letting contact go on both ends, Perkins and Bynum are getting into it, Metta World Peace making Durant work hard on each possession, limiting him to 1-9 shooting.
The Lakers big 3 have come to play, scoring 22 of the Lakers 30 1st quarter points. Lakers also have 9 team assists, the ball is moving.
2nd Quarter Highlights:
- MWP with a forgettable possession, missing 3 straight shots from point blank range.
- Lakers with a scoring drought to start the 2nd, 2 pts in the first 4 minutes, giving up too many offensive boards as well.
- Fisher sparking OKC, with his 3rd bucket in the qtr, going to the FT line to complete an and-1. Lakers 32 OKC 26.
- After a nice defensive play by Bynum to block Ibaka, he misses Kobe by a mile on the break, resulting in a TO.
- Gasol with a nice driving layup, scoring on Collison.
- Durant scores over Barnes.
- Expect to see MWP check in shortly, Durant with 6 quick points.
- Kobe with a J over Harden.
- Sessions with a great drive, scores…absorbs contact, no call.
- Harden struggling on 2-8 shooting.
- Kobe pick’n roll to Pau who lobs to Bynum for the score, a playbook staple this season.
- Kobe draws a foul on Thabo, some friendly banter going on between the 2
- Serge Ibaka hits the buzzer beater from the top of the key.
- At Halftime: Lakers 49 OKC 44.
2nd Quarter Observations:
Offensive struggle for both teams, Lakers O has slowed down considerably, producing only 19 points after a 30 pt explosion in the 1st. After 9 1st quarter assists, Lakers produced only 3 in the 2nd…another sign of a stalled offense.
Fisher sparked the Thunder with 7 quick points. Durant took advantage of the Barnes matchup with 4-7 shooting.
3rd Quarter Highlights:
- Gasol picks up 2 quick fouls, 3 total so far.
- Lakers offense is looking Iso-heavy to start the 3rd, points are hard to come by.
- Gasol picks up his 4th foul, momentum has shifted to OKC. Surprised to see Mike Brown go with Troy Murphy in place of Pau. McRoberts was excellent off the bench in the 1st quarter.
- Westbrook has been the star of the qtr for OKC, giving them their 1st lead of the game. 50-49.
- Kobe has gone cold, going 2 for his last 10.
- The Lakers are getting destroyed on the boards, Murphy ugh.
- MWP hits a 3 after an 0-6 start.
- Sessions goes under a screen and Westbrook makes him pay.
- Blake with a steal and score to spark LA.
- Westbrook stems the tide with another pull up J.
- Westbrook again. Mercy.
- Westbrook with a buzzer beating 3.
3rd Quarter Observations:
Westbrook takes control of the game as a scorer (17 points) and playmaker. The Lakers offense has come to a grinding halt, 30 points in the 1st, 38 since. They’re coming apart at the seams defensively, giving up 34 3rd quarter points to OKC. With Pau in foul trouble, the Thunder have dominated the boards, 17 to 10 advantage on offensive rebounds, 40-32 overall.
4th Quarter Highlights:
- OKC beating the Lakers to loose balls all night.
- Another offensive rebound for OKC, Collison with a put back off of a Durant FT miss, failed box-out by Gasol (again).
- Westbrook with a nice drive to the hoop, continuing his scoring assault
- Kobe hits back-to-back jumpers after an 0-8 drought.
- Collison has been an unsung hero for OKC, snagging offensive rebounds, draws a charge on Sessions.
- MWP hits a 3 off of a Bryant kickoout, lead down to 10.
- Westbrook and Durant score to keep the Lakers at bay.
- MWP hits another 3 to trim the OKC lead to 9, 2:25 to go.
- Westbrook and Durant score to maintain a 9 pt lead with 22 seconds left.
- Ball Game: OKC 102 LA 93.
4th Quarter Observations:
OKC extends their lead by scoring off of loose balls, offensive rebounds, and dribble penetration. Lakers made a small run to cut the lead to single digits, but down the stretch, they had no answer for Westbrook and Durant.