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article imageNBA: Thunder destroy Lakers

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By Layne Weiss     May 15, 2012 in Sports
Oklahoma City - The Oklahoma City Thunder embarrassed the Los Angeles Lakers Monday with a 119-90 win in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals, ESPN reports.
The Thunder had 8 days off after sweeping the defending champion Dallas Mavericks in round 1. The Lakers, on the other hand, were coming off a grueling 7 game series against the Denver Nuggets, which ended Saturday night.
Russell Westbrook had 27 points and Kevin Durant had 25 against the "lethargic" Lakers, The New York Times reports.
The Thunder led by 15 at the half, ESPN reports. Once the teams returned the floor, the Thunder pretty much dominated for the rest of the game.
"From then on, it was pretty much cruising for us," Russell 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.
After the crushing defeat, Kobe commented, "obviously they're more well rested than we are, but I don't think it really made that much of a difference for us," NBA Hang Time reports. "We could've had the same amount of days off. They're just younger and faster. I think tonight, what you saw, they just executed extremely well. We're going to have to make our own adjustments. Tonight and tomorrow, we'll talk about it and figure some things out, things that we want to do differently. They just got too many open looks."
"We got beat tonight," Lakers coach Mike Brown said after the game. "You can say anything you want about a 7 game series and us having a day or whatever. The bottom line is this is the playoffs. We've got to come and play, and we didn't. We got beat. It's one game, so we've got to bounce back for the next one."
Some Lakers teammates didn't take things as calmly. Late in the 4th, once, the outcome was already determined, a very frustrated Devin Ebanks got involved in a loose ball fiasco once the whistle had already blown. Then, for no reason, he shoved Thunder guard Ronald Ivey with both hands, CBS Sports reports. Both players went at it and were hit with technical fouls. Ebanks decided to take it a step further, getting a second technical for talking back to the official, so he was ejected. To make matters worse and more humiliating for his teammates, fans, and the entire Lakers franchise, he tossed aside a chair and threw off his jersey as he entered the tunnel back into the locker room.
After the game, Mike Brown said it was very possible that Ebanks would be fined for his tantrum.
Still, though, the Lakers focus is on Game 2, which will be played in Oklahoma City Wednesday night.
article:324905:2::0
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