Home > Sports > Basketball
  print button email button

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

News photo
Throwing it down: Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant dunks over Los Angeles' Andrew Bynum in the first quarter of Game 1 on Monday night. The Thunder routed the Lakers 119-90. AP

Thunder crush fatigued Lakers

AP

OKLAHOMA CITY — When the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City last met, Metta World Peace delivered an elbow that sent the Thunder's James Harden home with a concussion.

It's the Lakers who are smarting after the playoff rematch.

Russell Westbrook had 27 points and nine assists, Kevin Durant added 25 points and the Thunder blasted the weary Lakers 119-90 on Monday night in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals.

Oklahoma City took a 15-point halftime lead, opened the third quarter with a 15-2 blitz filled with crowd-pleasing 3-pointers and dunks and never looked back.

"From then on, it was cruising for us," Westbrook said. "When our team plays like that throughout the game, we put ourselves in a good opportunity to win."

Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum scored 20 points each for the Lakers and Bynum had 14 rebounds.

Two games after trailing by as many as 28 points in a blowout loss in Game 6 in Denver, it got even worse as the Lakers were down by as many as 35. They responded to their last loss by beating the Nuggets 96-87 in a thrilling Game 7 on Saturday night.

They'll need another big bounce back for Game 2 in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.

"We got beat tonight. You can say anything you want to about a seven-game series and us having a day or whatever," Los Angeles coach Mike Brown said. "The bottom line is this is the playoffs, we've got to come to play and we didn't. We got beat.

"It's one game, so we've got to bounce back for the next one."

The Thunder didn't need any dirty tactics to get even for World Peace's suspension-worthy transgression. The league's most turnover-prone team — committing 16.4 per game in the regular season — gave it away only four times, a record low for the franchise.

"I think that's huge," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "Four — we've had that the first 6 minutes of games at times."

While the Lakers were making a quick turnaround less than 48 hours after ending the first round, the Thunder had eight full days off following their first-round sweep of defending NBA champion Dallas.

It got out of hand just after halftime, in highlight-reel fashion.

Durant lobbed the ball to Westbrook for a two-handed slam, then connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing to draw a timeout from Brown.

76ers 82, Celtics 81

In Boston, Evan Turner made the go-ahead layup with 40.4 seconds left and Philadelphia held off the Celtics the rest of the way with six straight free throws as the 76ers evened the second-round Eastern Conference series with a victory.

Turner finished with 10 points, including his layup that put Philadelphia up 76-75. He added two free throws with 12 seconds to go.

Jrue Holiday scored 18 points and Andre Iguodala added 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Sixers, who blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Celtics won Game 1.

Kevin Garnett had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Ray Allen scored 17 points for Boston.

Game 3 is Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia won its first playoff game in Boston since 1982 despite committing a playoff-high 19 turnovers and getting outrebounded 47-36.

Spencer Hawes finished with eight points and 10 rebounds and Lavoy Allen scored 10 points for the 76ers.

Brandon Bass had 12 points for the Celtics.

Bosh out with injury

AP

MIAMI — Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat were relieved by the diagnosis. It's the prognosis — or lack of one — that's a source of worry now.

And suddenly, the Indiana Pacers may be even more of a threat.

Bosh strained a lower abdominal muscle in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series, that original diagnosis confirmed Monday after an MRI exam. The team said Bosh is out "indefinitely," though coach Erik Spoelstra and others say the injury could have been worse.

Either way, Bosh is out for Game 2 on Tuesday, and sounds like he probably won't play again in this series.

"This season has to be extended for me to play again," Bosh said. "So that's what's on my mind."

Bosh was hurt late in the first half as he drove for a dunk and got fouled by Indiana's Roy Hibbert. The foul almost certainly played no role in the injury, as Bosh fell forward to his hands and knees after landing and stayed down for a few seconds. He got up and made his free throw, but dropped to the court again on the ensuing possession, leaving the game for evaluation.

Without Bosh, Miami rallied behind LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who outscored the Pacers 42-38 in the second half themselves and fueled a series-opening 95-86 win.

"Seeing him yesterday, seeing the pain he was in, you feared the worst," Wade said as practice wrapped up Monday. "But seeing him downstairs in the training room with a smile on his face — it wasn't a big smile, it was a little one — but just to see him in there, it was good."



Back to Top

About us |  Work for us |  Contact us |  Privacy policy |  Link policy |  Registration FAQ
Advertise in japantimes.co.jp.
This site has been optimized for modern browsers. Please make sure that Javascript is enabled in your browser's preferences.
The Japan Times Ltd. All rights reserved.