It did not look good for L. A. even before the tipoff: both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol were ailing, and the announcement that Jordan Hill would likely be getting season-ending surgery did not help matters. And then the Lakers had to play the actual game. Down 25-14 late in the first quarter, they put together a quick 11-0 run to tie it at the horn, but it was pretty much all Thunder after that: 64-48 at the half, 110-85 when the starters were pulled (4:26 left), and 116-101 at the end. By any reasonable definition of the term, this was a blowout.
The Lakers did what they could with the players they had. Earl Clark, starting in place of Gasol, pulled off a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds), and Antawn Jamison, coming off the bench, had 19 points and 10 boards. You should know that Kobe Bryant had a Kobe Bryant-like night: he put up shot after shot, and enough of them went to give him 28 points. (Then again, Kobe also drew a technical, which never happens at Staples.) Steve Nash was quiet: seven points, seven assists. And this says something: the Lakers made not one three-point shot in the first half. They did better in the second — Devin Ebanks got two of them in four minutes — but 6-28 wins you no games.
Not that OKC was much better on the long ball, going 9-29. But they did break 50 percent on shooting overall, while the Lakers didn’t quite make it to 40. Kevin Durant was a whopping +35 for the night, racking up 42 points before garbage time set in. Russell Westbrook knocked down 27. Kevin Martin led the bench with 15. And Serge Ibaka exited early with contusions to his torso; I’m guessing he’s doubtful for Sunday at Portland.
I apologize for the lack of Metta World Peace jokes. Mr. Formerly Known As Artest did wangle 12 points, though he put up nine treys and missed eight of them. (The box score gives him a non-whopping -34.)
A back-to-back coming up on this road trip: Blazers on Sunday, Suns on Monday.
(Title swiped from @OKCNightCourt.)