The Lakers didn’t lose the series last night in OKC. They lost it in Game 2, and in Game 4 in Los Angeles. The Thunder’s series-clinching 106-90 win last night was merely a formality, and even as Kobe Bryant (42 points) tossed up three quarters of a throwback performance, no one could truly convince themselves this thing was still in doubt. There were no answers whatsoever for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who combined for 70 points, and by the fourth quarter, it felt like one big party … Kobe held up his end, taking nine shots and scoring 15 points in the first quarter. But the last thing you really want as a Laker fan on the road is to see Kobe dominate early. Andrew Bynum was absolutely invisible because of foul trouble. He was doing all he could to back up his closeout game quote from earlier this year when he said, “Teams tend to fold if you come out and play hard in the beginning.” Yes AB, you folded. Serge Ibaka had two ruthless power jams in the lane in the first quarter while OKC secured 15 of the first 21 rebounds. Then there was Pau Gasol (14 points, 16 rebounds), who was letting Nick Collison push him out to the three-point line for post position. This is a fact with these Lakers: they won’t follow Kobe. He has to bring them along, and when he jumped out early, doing it all himself, we knew it was already over. Once Bryant went out and the rest of the Lakers started to get their flow, we figured he’d come back in and fall back a little bit. Nope. Immediately the Thunder went on a 12-4 run, which directly coincided with Kobe forcing two or three more stupid shots … Despite all of that (as well as Ramon Sessions morphing into Lil Duval and stinking up the joint), the Lakers were right there at the half. But then the refs called a BS flagrant on Metta World Peace, who proceeded to pick up a T. Bryant also picked up a technical trying to defend his teammate. That four-point play boosted OKC going into the second half … With the Lakers holding a small lead in the third quarter, Russell Westbrook (28 points) made two incredible plays in a row, the second being a three-point play where he countered Sessions’ foul by throwing in a shot off the glass from past the free-throw line. That nearly started a riot amongst the 6,000 psychotic Thunder fans lined up outside the arena. Westbrook began dropping buckets at will, enough to stave off Bryant. And in the fourth quarter after a couple of KD (25 points, 10 rebounds) daggers, L.A.’s wheels fell off. Once the Thunder smelled blood, it was all over … There’s a reason we never got down with the “Andrew Bynum is better than Dwight Howard” movement. It’s because of games like last night when Bynum (10 points, four rebounds) refused to show up outside of a two minute second quarter stretch. No defense. No rebounding. No postgame handshakes either. At one point, he even let Nazr Mohammed dribble right by him and dunk. There’s no excuse for the way Bynum played last night, and he’ll have a whole summer to think about it in-between building computers and telephones … To prepare themselves for a potential closeout win, the Thunder were reportedly chilling in the locker room during the pregame trading lines from Superbad. Can’t you just imagine Kevin Durant walking into the room with his hipster glasses on and declaring to everyone: “You know how many foods are shaped like dicks? The best kinds!” Saturday Night Live needs to do a skit of this just like the recent one where they laid waste to the caricature of Stephen A. Smith …. Keep reading to hear about the unexpected guy who might’ve saved Boston’s season …
Smack / May 22, 2012 / 12:35 am
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