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Lakers-Thunder Game 1: Lakers suffer a Thundertality

May 15, 2012, 1:24 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

This was a beating. A smackdown. A trouncing. A demolition. A boat race. A blowout. A “hit ’em in the head with a shovel and drag their team to an unmarked grave,” “nail ’em with a 2X4, watch them stagger around and then slam the door on them on the way out,” downright unavoidable-to-say butt kicking. The Thunder destroyed the Lakers 119-90 Monday to win Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinals series.

The Thunder scored 39 points in the third quarter to bust the lead open. It was a 30-point lead late in the quarter, the starters didn’t play the fourth, Devin Ebanks was ejected in garbage time, and the Lakers essentially embarrassed themselves every way possible.

Some numbers, just for fun.

The Thunder finished with a 132 offensive efficiency. In the third quarter, they had a 161 offensive efficiency. They started the third with a 22-6 run. In six minutes. In six minutes, the Thunder scored 22 points, the Lakers just six. Kevin Durant had 10 points in that span, all with Metta World Peace on the floor.


So for the Thunder, the only thing you can really say is “do that more.” They played nearly perfectly, holding Kobe Bryant to 20 points on 18 shots, Paul Gasol to 10 points on 11 shots, and Ramon Sessions to just 2 points. They dominated every area of the game, played their way and hit absolutely everything they put up. This is not rocket science. Play that way, all the time, and you win a title.

For the Lakers?

OK, some caveats. The Lakers are two days removed from a Game 7 which is a physically and emotionally draining experience. They were on the road against a rested and ready OKC team who have young legs and are able to get up emotionally for Game 1s. The Thunder nailed everything in sight and the Lakers were just a step behind. It’s just one game. The Lakers can recover, respond, and tie the series on Wednesday. Losing by this much doesn’t have influence on the start of Game 2. It’ll be 0-0.

That said…

A message was sent.

The Thunder ran them out the building, and no one responded. There was no fight, no charge, no big move or surge. They didn’t even trim the lead in half to make a point going into Game 2. They just wilted. The Lakers are supposed to be a better defensive team, but they were crushed by the Thunder’s three-headed monster. Everything went wrong at once for the Lakers, and they do not appear to be aware that they are facing a team that finished with more wins, including two over them in dominant fashion this season. They do not appear to recognize that the Thunder are not kids who they can take lightly. This team is dangerous and has matchup advantages over the Lakers.

If the Lakers are going to win this series, if they’re going to win a game, everything has to change.

  1. andyprough - May 15, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    I like how you pointed out the Thunder “held” Sessions to just 2 points. He seems to do alright at holding his scoring down all on his own.

    If the Lakers are going to have any chance, they are going to need several nights where Kobe and Gasol go for a combined 75 points, and Bynum blocks 10 and pulls down 20+ boards. Because the Lakers’ 4-10 players are not in the same league as the OKC 4-10 players.

  2. trickybastard - May 15, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Please don’t say thundertality anymore. Ever.

    • progress2011 - May 15, 2012 at 2:59 AM

      When you get ran outta the gym like that, you have ZERO control over how your opponent is referenced.

      If your “OVER-RATED” team can defend themselves from getting trounced, then maybe people may consider not referring to the OKC ” THUNDERALITY” !!!

      • therealhtj - May 15, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        Kudos to OKC. You finally look like you’ve got a shot to beat those heathens from LA. Congrats! Enjoy it. Because the window is closing. Your young legs are benefiting from the effects of a lockout-shortened season, injuries to your key competition, and a CBA that still benefits teams like yours who drafted well and still aren’t paying Max-money to all their stars. San Antonio’ll likely be your only competition especially if Bosh doesn’t make it back. If you don’t win it all this year, it likely won’t happen.

        But after this season, watch out. You’ll likely have to move Harden before his extension kicks in. Ibaka too. Other that or lose them for nothing. Westbrook will start complaining a couple of years into his extension, and he’ll likely get moved too. Obviously, no prime Free Agents are going to your podunk little village. You’ll no longer get any early draft picks. Durant alone will be just as successful as Kobe alone.

        Take a good long look at the Lakers, rednecks – it’s your future. I mean, besides actually being in a desirable market, a billion-dollar-plus valuation, and the gold standard of sports franchises everywhere. How OKC ever got any pro sports franchise is baffling.

      • slowclyde86 - May 15, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Why so bitter? It’s only a game. Don’t be such a small-minded person.

        The Lakers were thrashed by a really good Thunder team. It is to be expected.

        If you are a resident of LA, I would be concerned more about CA’s fiscal train wreck and impending bankruptcy than flinging mud at other parts of the country that you have probably never even visited.

        In any case, congratulations—yours is one of the dumbest posts in some time. Well done!

      • therealhtj - May 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Good job slowclyde. You showed me. Please, lay off the hillbilly heroin. Of course I’ve never been to Oklahoma. Why on earth would anyone with a choice go there? Just like all the free agents that’ll never go there.

      • slowclyde86 - May 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        I have no idea what hillbilly heroine is, but thanks for the tip. I have also never been to okc, so your vitriol is misdirected.

        Your life must really suck to be such a tool. How sad for you.

      • lyndseymarieee - May 16, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        OKC got a sports franchise because they were willing to pay for it when Seattle was not. In fact, you sound like one of those Seattle fans that are STILL bitter they lost their team.

        The Thunder have only been getting better since they moved here so for you to say that they are benefitting because of a “lockout” season is absurd. The front office also won’t let James Harden go anywhere.

        I also think that Oklahoma City is nothing of what you imagine it to be. Not even close. I’m not saying it’s LA or Chicago or New York but it’s also not a “po-dunk” town like you claim it to be. That’s more like Gotebo, Burns Flat, or Slaughterville. You can continue to pass judegement on a place you’ve never been to and on a group of people you’ve never met but it only makes you look like a fool.

      • trickybastard - May 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM

        you’re a major dork. thundertality descibes your toilet bowl after a bout with food poisening

  3. gopokes0714 - May 15, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Ya they did :)
    Hopefully they can stay level headed and keep it up.

    Ron Artest = nobody

    literally, he changed his name.

  4. morgan420 - May 15, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Wow I love reading this article. The oklahoma city thunder DESTROY the o mighty L.A Lakers… I said it at the beginning of the playoffs, OKC will win it all this year ill put a hundred bucks on it. Can’t wait for game 2

    • savvybynature - May 15, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      That would be a good bet, except Kurt already told us the Heat are going to win it all unless their role players blow it for them somehow.

      • morgan420 - May 16, 2012 at 2:09 AM

        ya they are a great team but i still think OKC will win. i think there more hungry and have more to prove, not discrediting that lebron doesent and that he is just a huge force coming down the court.

    • therealhtj - May 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Wow, you win that Hundy, you can pay off your home in OKC! Must be really exciting.

      • seantsghost - May 15, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        ^ says the 13 year-old from Fresno

      • itsmammoth - May 15, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        u mad?

      • morgan420 - May 16, 2012 at 2:11 AM

        actually i live in ohio i hate the cavs for real and i dont own a house so ill just pocket it.

  5. rushbacker - May 15, 2012 at 3:33 AM

    That makes two blowout losses for the Lakers in their last three games.

    • bozosforall - May 15, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Yeah, funny how that “blowout loss” to the Nuggets resulted in the Lakers going home. Oh wait…that didn’t happen? Really?

      • lyndseymarieee - May 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM

        Even if they didn’t go home, that is still telling and Laker’s fans should be worried, at least a little, about it.

      • bozosforall - May 16, 2012 at 7:37 PM

        not worried at all. Five titles since 2000. Without having to cheat like the Patriots did.

  6. rosesacl - May 15, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    miami heat get bosh and lebron, owners have a hissy fit, lockout ensues, greater restrictions on spend-happy owners, lakers dump payroll and dont get cp3 or anybody significant, lose in 2nd round….. blaming stern might be the obvious choice, but perhaps we should blame Micky Arison and Pat Riley for causing a sequence of events that lead to this point. BTW, after watching this game, it felt exactly like last year versus the Mavericks…. sucks.

    • progress2011 - May 15, 2012 at 9:06 AM


      You claim the lakers dump payroll, they were spending twice what some other franchises were spending, including OKC !!!!

      They got Gasol for pennies on the dollar, do you expect to buy every top tier player, unfairly.

      Maybe CP3 didn’t want to play with the “Ball-Hawk” and be second fiddle to kobe. Because he seems to be quite happy in a Clippers Uniform, where he is ” The Man “.

      So, if your excuse is, the playing field was made more even, which has exposed the lakers ” OVER-RATED” status, then I’d agree with that.

      • bozosforall - May 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        Winning 5 titles in the last decade or so is hardly “OVERRATED”. If you want to see “OVERRATED”, look no further than the ONE measly title in the last quarter-century that the Celtics have eked out. Now that is one OVERRATED organization.

      • therealhtj - May 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        When OKC lets everyone go because they can’t afford to pay them once they no longer have the luxury of rookie-scale contracts, we’ll see overrated Durant and Westbrook continually see first and second round exits.

        You’re still in a podunk, dust bowl. Don’t ever forget that.

      • loungefly74 - May 15, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        well…the thunder laid it down. they played a heck of a game. i’m hoping my Lakers can learn and rebound from this experience. the thunder did play their “A” game and i can only hope they don’t have a repeat performance in game 2.

        @ bozo…
        Progress2011 is a self-loathing fool. he has admitted he is a hater…that he follows no specific team but only to watch “the big dog” lose…so basically, his sports enjoyment is not celebrating “his team” win but to see someone lose. pathetic. so…don’t pay any attention to his mad rants. he is a classic “Hater”.

        @Progress, heres some advice…find a team that holds some relevance in your life (be it from geography or family ties, etc..) and root for them. and yeah, i’m in tears that the “overrated” Lakers have only 7 title appearances in the past 12 years…SMH.

  7. girouxhasladyballs - May 15, 2012 at 5:29 AM

    where are all the laker d riders now?

    • 00maltliquor - May 15, 2012 at 9:49 PM

      Examining the top of your lady’s head…uhh…ahhhh…

  8. mytthor - May 15, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    No Laker fan with brains ever thought this series would be easy. That said, if the Thunder think they’re going to with the series by never ever turning the ball over (even thought it was their biggest problem in the regular season) and having mediocre shooters nail 20 foot jumpers all night, they’re in for a surprise as well.

    • girouxhasladyballs - May 15, 2012 at 7:54 AM

      yeah. check the points in the paint again. thunder were better at that too.

    • lyndseymarieee - May 15, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      what mediocre shooters were hitting 20ft jumpers all night? westbrook and durant? last time i check their shooting skills were anything but mediocre

      • soflasfinest - May 15, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Ibaka, collison and even Perkins. I hate la but when ur non prolific players are draining J’s you now you’re in trouble.

      • mytthor - May 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM

        And yes, Westbrook. He’s a great player and an improved shooter but if his Steve Nash impression from last night continues, people wouldn’t be clamoring for him to pass the ball to Durant.

      • dal24la - May 15, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        Collison, Nazr, and Perkins are all mediocre shooters who knocked down shots last night that they usually don’t make.
        And they got points in the paint but if you watched the game you saw most of their points in the 1st half came from jumpers minus Harden’s points.

      • lyndseymarieee - May 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM

        Collison and Ibaka are consistent shooters. Perkins may be the only “mediocre” choice on that list.

  9. kavika6 - May 15, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    I knew the Lakers would be a pushover, but after this game I’m getting a bit nervous for when they play my Spurs in the Western finals. Not scared, just nervous. OKC’s a great team.

    • girouxhasladyballs - May 15, 2012 at 7:56 AM

      oh look a fan who isn’t a hater. nice to see. SA has class though.

      SA will beat the thunder if they meet in the WCF. tony parker kills them.

      – a thunder fan.

  10. emaimo80 - May 15, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    rosesacl | May 15, 2012, 5:12 AM EDT
    Ya blame the heat for the lakers getting killed, that makes sense. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the coach or the fact that the lakers gave away veteran Derek Fisher or the negative karma that idiot Ron Artest/aka World Peace brings to the Lakers. I feel bad for Kobe. I hope he finds a way out of L.A. after this season in a non Dwight Howard way.

    • cosanostra71 - May 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      I simply can’t agree with this comment. Giving away Fisher was not a negative- he had great years with us, he had a positive locker room vibe- but he was simply hurting the team on the court. If Fisher was still the starting PG instead of Sessions, we would not have defeated the Nuggets in the first round- we wouldn’t have even pushed it to 7 games. Sessions is not a great defensive player (he’s adequate) and he got pretty much schooled by Lawson- can you imagine Fisher chasing around Lawson? As far as MWP- say what you want about him, but on a team that isn’t being motivated by the coach- his energy brings a type of motivation. Last night he didn’t bring it, but look at Game 7 of the Nuggets series vs. the others- you can see it.

  11. mungman69 - May 15, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    OKC was just ready last night and the Lakers weren’t ready. The Lakers WILL play better but I don’t think that they have the horses to run with the Thunder. A Thunder sweep? I dunno. But the Lakers are in trouble.

  12. allmyteamsareterrible - May 15, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    If the Lakers had trouble keeping up with the Nuggets running, I don’t see how they have a chance against the more talented and more athletic Thunder.

  13. mungman69 - May 15, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Yes, Allmy: The Lakers can’t run with the thunder. Lakers will have to find a way to slow the tempo down but the Thunder just look too good.

  14. starks3 - May 15, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    In the Lakers defense, the Thunder did shoot lights out, not sure they will be able to duplicate that shooting the rest of the series.

    • girouxhasladyballs - May 15, 2012 at 7:57 AM

      one of the three always steps up. harden had an off shooting night and no one noticed.

      • bozosforall - May 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        In that case, the entire Lakers team “had an off shooting night”, suxokcplayersballs.

      • girouxhasladyballs - May 15, 2012 at 1:06 PM

        sounds like your jimmies are rustled bro. go change your name to ron artest, heard its available.

      • dal24la - May 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        He wasn’t just talking about the BIg 3, their other players all shot WELL from the floor too. And Harden had an off night but he still got many FTA by getting to the rim. All of their big 3 played above average, and Westbrook was amazing.

  15. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 15, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Uh oh. This isn’t going to end well. And I’m not talking about the Lakers

  16. davidly - May 15, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Not that it is relevant to this particular game, but as long as we’re number-funnin’:

    Sessions/Blake: 45 min – 1 for 8 FG – 0 FT – 4 RB – 7 Ass – 3 TO – 0 Blk – 0 St – 2 Pts
    Derek Fisher: 25 min – 2 for 8 FG – 0 FT – 1 RB – 2 Ass – 0 TO – 1 Blk – 2 St – 5 Pts

  17. florida727 - May 15, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    When you reach the playoffs in the NBA, your games are shown on cable. When your games are shown on cable, millions watch you get embarrassed. When millions watch you get embarrassed, you get depressed and look for answers. When you get depressed and look for answers, you find there are none because the other team is just too good. When the other team is just too good, you get eliminated from the playoffs. When you get eliminated from the playoffs, you book tee times at your favorite golf course sooner than you’d hoped. Don’t book tee times at your favorite golf course sooner than you’d hoped. Get rid of cable. And upgrade to DirectTV.

    • lyndseymarieee - May 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      DirecTV is a joke.

  18. acdc363 - May 15, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    Jesus what a blowout! I think the C’s and the 76ers could teach LA a few things about defense.

  19. bstmusic1 - May 15, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    MWP has this to say: “Right now, it’s about basketball,” World Peace said. “After the season we can talk about that but right now it’s more about basketball.”

    I guess we can talk about it after three more games.

  20. canehouse - May 15, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    WOW!!!!! Unbelievable performance… not sure if any of the remaining teams left in the playoffs can compete with the Thunder if they play every game like last night. IMPRESSIVE!!!!

  21. schaffershokai - May 15, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    It’s not often that a team of that caliber fails that spectacularly. They should be celebrating. There’s enough candy for everyone:

  22. smuckteamz80 - May 15, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Do the Lakers play defense?

  23. omniusprime - May 15, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Two days running Matt Moore has written garbage. Let’s not forget NBA playoff history Matt boy, plenty of times a team got whipped badly in one game only to rebound and win the next, It’s only one game so don’t crown the OKC Blunder just yet. Kobe and crew had better get their focus on beating this team of young upstarts. Time for the Lakers to get physical and start pushing the weaklings around, time for MWP to lean on Boy Blunder Harden with his glass head. Time for the Lakers to expose just how soft Durant still is. Go Kobe!!!! Go Lakers!!!

  24. southbeachtalent - May 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    And that’s why the Thunder are the best team right now. The Lakers are past their prime. Way too slow and lethargic. Bynum is as inconsistent as they come, and Gasol gets handled more times than not. Kobe looks frustrated already.. And Arteste is better suited for the WWE.

  25. lameasish - May 15, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    LAL 15 free throws, OKC 29 free throws, I’m not a lakers fan but I do find it funny when certain teams get more FT, people call it a fix, like when the heat got 9 more FT then the pacers, but when OKC gets way more FT, it’s not a big deal.

    • girouxhasladyballs - May 15, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      okc drives the paint cause they are too fast for the lakers. the only bad calls last night was the tech on ibaka and the out of bounds off kobe that was actually off harden.

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