It looked like the Los Angeles Lakers were poised to head into the break with a lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder after both teams struggled throughout the first half. In an instant, though, the tide turned, with Russell Westbrook hitting a three to give the Thunder the lead and Kevin Durant stealing the inbound pass and draining a buzzer beater to extend the advantage. Perhaps it was a sign of things to come.
The Thunder turned a three-point halftime advantage into a double-digit lead in the second half as the Lakers faded. Los Angeles was never able to answer the tandem of Westbrook and Durant, and the result was a comfortable 100-85 win.
Durant led the way for the Thunder with 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting. Westbrook was the sidekick, adding 19 points and six assists. James Harden played a supporting role off the bench, scoring 16 points in the win.
For the Lakers, it was Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and little else. Bryant scored a team-high 24 points on 7-of-25 shooting, but did most of his damage from the line, where he was 10-of-11. Gasol added 22 points and 12 rebounds, with Andrew Bynum also finishing in double-figures, scoring 14 points.
The Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder have, for the most part, struggled shooting the ball in the first half. Both teams played tough games last night and don't quite look like their best, but they're still playing high-quality basketball and working hard on defense. Despite the offensive struggles for most of the players on the floor, Kevin Durant is shooting just fine. He leads all scorers with 20 points at the half, and the Thunder lead 46-43.
Durant hit an absolutely unreal shot at the buzzer to extend his team's lead at the end of a crazy final 30 seconds of the half. In that time span: Serge Ibaka stuffed Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol dunked on a great pass from Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook hit a three and Durant stole the ensuing inbound pass, then hit a buzzer-beater.
Kobe Bryant has 10 points on just 4-13 shooting, but he's having a solid all-around game with five rebounds, two assists, a steal and no turnovers. Gasol leads the Lakers with 13 points.