3 min read

Thunder really beat the Lakers, 118-78


The game started, and then it was over.

Really, though, it was kind of over before it started. The show tonight wasn’t going to be Thunder versus the Lakers, it was going to be Kobe Bryant in his farewell  tour, except that was a dud, too, as Bryant sat because of a sore right shoulder. The Lakers weren’t likely to ever have a chance regardless, but there were less fun things to pay attention to.

It was 15-14 after the first quarter, as the Lakers led Kevin Durant by one. The Thunder already led by 20, though.

I’m gonna try real hard to come up with things to say about what actually transpired throughout the 48 minutes of play, but man, other than just typing the word “bloodbath” over and over, what can you say?

The Lakers stink. The Thunder are pretty good. And the game went in accordance to that.

If anything, I’m not sure you can really draw much from it either. It seemed clear to me that Billy Donovan’s halftime message, one in which his team sat upon a 26-point lead for, was to work on their principles and see if they could get better with the movement, passing and such. A couple possession in the third were really sharp, but again, the level of competition makes it hard to really know anyway.

All this game did was really make me think about the missed opportunity to be riding an eight-game winning streak heading out west to play the Clippers on Monday and the Lakers again on Wednesday. It’s good to bounce back in such an emphatic manner, and move on from the tight loss in Cleveland, but I wouldn’t say the Thunder proved anything or made up for something. They just beat down a weak, bad, disinterested team.


  • During an extended third quarter possession that featured three offensive rebounds, the Thunder moved the heck out of the ball. With each rebound, Donovan was up yelling, “Pass it!” and when they did, he yelled, “Good!!!” Each of the three shots they took were really good ones, with the ball movement getting progressively sharper each time. By the end of it, Serge Ibaka got a corner 3, and Durant was at the top of the key clapping before Ibaka even started shooting. Ibaka made it, and Durant, in a 30-point game, started fist-pumping like crazy.
  • The lob game to Adams is becoming a real Thing. Westbrook set him up four times tonight, three in the pick-and-roll. There’s something to it, and in the same way the Cavs punished the Thunder with it the other night, the Thunder are figuring it out as a real weapon. When they have spacers out there like Durant and Morrow, it’s a pick-your-poison kind of position defenses are in.
  • This doesn’t mean anything really, but Byron Scott barely stood up the entire game. Compared to other coaches of young teams like, say Brett Brown or Quin Snyder or Mike Malone, and Scott basically wasn’t even in the arena. He wasn’t coaching this team tonight. He was watching them. He should’ve paid for a ticket.
  • I bet Dion Waiters was pretty disappointed he missed out on the final nine minutes of garbage time.
  • Hard not to be really impressed by Cameron Payne in those final nine minutes. Really nice vision and feel, and some solid scoring ability as well. I think he’s inching closer to rotation minutes. I really do.
  • Durant talked pregame, mostly about Kobe. This is the key quote, when asked about Kobe playing all 20 seasons with the Lakers and if that’s rare today: “Yeah, you could say that. There’s still some guys that stay with one team, but there are some guys that move. But Kobe, he’s done it, Tim Duncan’s done it. Just as far as staying with one organization, when you win a title with them it makes it easier to ride it out, and that’s what those two guys have done. Dirk, guys like that. It’s good to see a few players that’s on the way out that had long careers that’s been with one team and still doing it pretty well.”
  • The “when you win a title” part is the eye-catcher, but I’m not sure Durant was saying what it looks like he was saying. At least if you’re taking it as a better-win-this-year-or-else kind of thing. I think it was more just face value of what he said: When you win, it makes it easier to stay.
  • Enes Kanter knows how to get dem numbers up in meaningless minutes.
  • Lou Williams apparently didn’t stay at the Skirvin last night out of fear of Effie. And he played far and away the best for the Lakers, scoring 20 and hitting 4-6 from 3.
  • If you’re wondering about the odd start time, it was for European viewers. The game was broadcast in more than 30 countries today.

Next up: At the Clippers on Monday