3 min read

Thunder crush the Lakers in Kobe’s road farewell, 112-79


The game was so much more than about the game. Because the game, was not very good. With a 26-6 run in the opening eight minutes of the third quarter the Thunder blew open the game and as anticipated, routed the Lakers.

Russell Westbrook got a triple-double in the first half, in 17 minutes and 35 seconds. Kevin Durant scored 34 in 28 minutes, 16 coming in a flurry to open the third. And that was that. At one point with five minutes left, the Thunder had outscored the Lakers in the second half 52-18.

But it was the scene, the atmosphere, the appreciation that happened. Metta World Peace took the floor for probably the last time in the Peake and

Look, there’s a lot to be said about Kobe Bryant. Everyone’s pretty much said it all. It’s a polarizing topic right now, but I will say this: It felt special seeing him tonight. He’s one of the titans of the game, a true legend in every sense, and seeing him play his final road game was fantastic. There were a few neat moments along the way, from the opening tribute video, to the eruption in the crowd when he hit a shot, to his 1-on-1 trash-talking with Durant. It was all terrific. And I’m going to dearly miss watching the guy.

It’s on to San Antonio for the Thunder, where they will almost assuredly rest the important parts of the roster. And then it’s the playoffs, where unfortunately, they don’t get to play the Lakers 16 times.


  • So, Westbrook triple-doubled in the first half. In fewer in 18 minutes. That’s number 18 for him, tying Magic Johnson’s mark for the most since 1981-82. That’s silly.
  • It’s like I’ve always said, Russell Westbrook is just a poor man’s Jim Tucker.
  • It was pretty funny how Westbrook went for that triple-double. He threw it to Anthony Morrow with 38 seconds left in the half and Morrow forced a 3, airballing. Westbrook went right back to him the next trip, and this time Morrow nailed it with 11 seconds left.
  • Also silly: Kevin Dutanty has now scored at least 20 in 64 straight games, passing Kobe’s mark of 63 in 2005-06. That’s the most since Michael Jordan in 1990-91.
  • Thunder fans were conflicted about booing Metta World Peace. They still remember his elbow, but then they remember it was on James Harden.
  • I’m not sure there’s a more hilarious moment during a Thunder game when the whole bench stands up during an Andre Roberson corner 3 attempt, holding fingers in the air and such, and then has to sheepishly sit back down when he airballs.
  • Great moment in the third: Durant missed a 3 shooting over Kobe, and Steven Adams grabbed the rebound. Kobe yelled, “Give it back to him!” and Adams did. Durant went back at Kobe 1-on-1, this time hitting a midrange jumper over him.
  • In the fourth quarter, with the score 110-68, Durant and Westbrook were looking at a box score during a timeout and laughing. Don’t know what about. But something was funny.
  • So pregame, as is tradition, Durant and Westbrook thanked fans for their support during the regular season. And Durant said something like, he was looking forward to it during the “next season,” very clearly meaning the playoffs. Some fans misunderstood this and accordingly freaked out, thinking he’d just announced he was coming back. Even after I tweeted the video of it, fans were freaking out, thinking that’s what he meant. He did not mean that.
  • Weird thing: Steven Adams got flagrantly fouled on an and-1 and because of quirk, had two free throws to make his and-1. He, of course, missed them both.
  • Buddy Hield sat courtside in the Durant seats, next to KD’s manager and agent.
  • The Thunder’s pregame tribute to Kobe was terrific. They used a voiceover of his high school coach and focused on legacy. Couldn’t help but sort of feel like it was a small recruitment video for Durant.
  • Hey, Kyle Singler hit 2-2 from 3. He’s hit four of his last five.
  • Josh Huestis missed his first 3 of his career. He’s now four of five.
  • Steven Adams straight bullied the Lakers. In 25 minutes, 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Next up: Game 82, at San Antonio on Tuesday