Thunder crushes Lakers in opener
There was no question that Oklahoma City was the superior team in the first-round sweep against defending champion Dallas. After the first game of the Western Conference semifinals, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to be no match.
The Thunder’s 119-90 pasting Monday night served notice that the nine-day layoff wasn’t an issue. Rust didn’t set. Rhythm didn’t dissipate. Oklahoma City was ready, and the Lakers felt that wrath.
“We play good basketball,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Like I told the guys, it’s one game. It’s the first team to four that wins this series. Regardless if we won by one or 20, it doesn’t have any impact on Wednesday night with the same energy. We know that the Lakers are going to play much better.”
One game hardly makes a series, and both the Thunder and Lakers are well aware of that fact. Los Angeles only had one day off before beginning the second round, and though the veteran Lakers aren’t going to get more rest as the series continues, they’ll likely be better prepared than they were in Game 1.
Oklahoma City knows it hasn’t taken the Lakers’ best shot. The victory in the opener means only so much.
“It means we are up 1-0, but you know there is a lot more basketball to be played so you know we aren’t going to get overly excited,” Thabo Sefolosha said. “But I think the first win is good to take, and we did what we were supposed to. Now we got to get back to work and worry about Game 2 now.”
Game 2 is Wednesday night back at Chesapeake Energy Arena before the series shifts to the Staples Center for the next two games.
“It’s important to win your home games in the playoffs,” Brooks said. “We have a great building, if not the best in basketball. We understand that we’re very blessed to have that. It’s every night, no matter who we play.”