NBA Roundtable

2012 NBA Playoffs Game One: Oklahoma vs LA Lakers

In 2012 NBA Playoffs, Game Log / Recap on May 14, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Game One

First Quarter

  • Russell Westbrook starts the game off with a steal inside the first six seconds, breakaway, lob to Sefolosha, layup. Way to send a message to open a game.
  • Ron Artest dribbles around a Kobe pick at the top of the key and drills a three pointer on the switch.
  • Oh my, Durant curls off a screen on the left post, comes flying around the paint, drives, slam dunk on the opposite side of the rim! Bang!
  • Ron Artest does a great job pinning Durant right under the rim and creates the passing angle, Pau Gasol (right elbow) finds him, Artest takes his time, draws the double, shuffle pass to Bynum, easy finish inside. Great play by Artest.
  • Serge Ibaka doing a good job fighting Pau Gasol for post position, deflects the entry pass, LA goes away from Pau. Mission accomplished on that possession for Ibaka.
  • Ron Artest knocks down a corner triple from the right side to put LA up 10-6 after two and a half minutes.
  • Andrew Bynum looking very active on the backboards early on. Now gets a post up, right block, quick turn middle, left jump hook, fouled, goes to the line, makes two of two after a lane violation on the first (?) missed FT.
  • Ron Artest takes another pull-up jumper, this time running away from Durant and the rim, taking the fallaway from 17 feet right wing (running from baseline), misses. Very aggressive start from Artest here.
  • Andrew Bynum gets a nice jump hook this time from the left box with the right hand going middle. Patient work by Bynum waiting for the help defender to pass through, then made his move, double was slow on the dribble, Bynum got a good look as a result.
  • Kevin Durant catch and shoot off a Perk screen on the left wing, nice pass by Westbrook, makes the J.
  • Pau Gasol with a fallaway from 9 feet right side of the paint. Hits it.
  • Westbrook with 6 points and 3 dimes in the first five minutes.
  • Oh my, nice patience again from Bynum with the pump fakes and pivots under the rim for the slam dunk. Excellent pass by Artest to find him moving towards the rim. Pulls down another defensive board too.
  • Westbrook buries a pull up jumper from 16 feet in transition.
  • Timeout after Bynum draws another foul (Ibaka) in the paint. LA leads 18-16 at the midway mark in the first.
  • Announcers — “Bryant hasn’t even attempted a shot yet” — getting his teammates involved early. Looking to establish the post.
  • Ibaka knocks down a baseline jumper from 18 feet right side off the pick and pop
  • Bynum pushed out to about 10-11 feet on his right handed jump hook this time, misses. Good defense by Perk.
  • Steve Blake is in for LA. He had a terrific game seven against Denver. Hopefully, his shooting here will make LA’s bigs even more dangerous.
  • Oklahoma race out in transition again off a Gasol turnover, Thabo brings it up, to Durant, right wing jumper, misses, offensive rebound Westbrook, pass to Ibaka, finishes inside. The crowd is going wild! Terrific atmosphere in this game.
  • This is when Kobe feels he needs to shoot, takes a fadeaway from 15 feet right wing, misses.
  • James Harden checks in and gets a major ovation (partly due to his tussle with Artest in the late regular season matchup between these two sides).
  • OKC lead 22-19 with three and a half minutes left in the first
  • James Harden knifes down the lane, draws the foul and finishes with a lefty layup off glass. Bad defense by Steve Blake.
  • Haha, Bynum muscles up a short shot on the baseline, 8 footer, looked like it hit the underside of the rim on it’s way up and then rolled up and over. Nazr Mohammed in to defend Bynum now.
  • Kobe Bryant schools Fisher off the dribble, spins into the lane, spots Artest in the corner, finds him, three pointer on the way, misses
  • Kevin Durant with the two handed slam on the putback on Fisher’s missed forced layup.
  • Lakers turn it over again, Oklahoma push it down their throats again, Harden to the rim, fouled by Jordan Hill. Amazing moves on Steve Blake, shaking left and right to completely confuse Blake on that drive in transition.
  • Kobe posts up Harden left wing, faces up, pump fakes, takes it, misses to the right.
  • Final minute, Artest pick and pop with Jordan Hill, 18 footer top of the key, misses. Not a shot you want to be taking. Bad possession.
  • Inside to Bynum, right box, spins baseline, stripped by Nazr out of bounds. Good hands by Mohammed. Inbounds to Kobe in the right corner, shoots over the top, nails it.
  • Harden holds it for the final shot of the corner, high PnR with Nazr, Harden flies down the lane, swatted by Bynum at the rim. Baseline inbounds, OKC ball, Cook in to Nazr, back to Cook who flashed to the near (left) corner, hits the triple! End of one.
  • A 16-5 run by OKC to end the first quarter.

Second Quarter

  • Oklahoma lead 30-23
  • Harden working on Blake again, drives, stops and pops from 13 feet right side of the paint, misses.
  • Offensive rebound and putback from Pau Gasol. Using that length.
  • Daequan Cook hits his second three pointer on the dish out from Harden off the PnR (again).
  • Pau Gasol from the high post finds Artest cutting backdoor along the baseline, layup.
  • Fisher to Collison on the high pick and roll, foul and the finish. Three point play. Not a frequent combination in the PnR for Oklahoma.
  • Ahh, Steve Blake should have taken. Hesitated on a wide open three pointer and threw away the opportunity.
  • Pau Gasol has to force it late in the shot clock, right elbow, drives left, runner, misses, offensive rebound, to Pau, behind the back to Barnes, layup, miss, tap in Pau, good!
  • Oklahoma lead 35-29 three minutes into the period
  • Ah, bad possession again from Jordan Hill, the pass wasn’t on so Hill decided to try and take his man off the dribble from 18 feet out, turnover. Lakers sixth turnover already.
  • James Harden with the give and go with Collison at the top of the key, misses the layup, tapped in by Nazr. I don’t know what happened to Artest but he didn’t follow Harden at all there. Caught flat footed.
  • Lakers — Sessions, Kobe, Barnes, Hill, Pau
  • Thunder — Fisher, Harden, Cook, Collison, Nazr
  • Ramon Sessions slices down the paint, drive and dish to Jordan Hill cutting along the baseline, slam dunk.
  • Oh my, Westbrook in for Fisher, lovely pass to Collison for the dunk on the dribble penetration. Oklahoma is up 10.
  • James Harden again, high pick and pop with Nazr, goes away from the screen, Hill can’t get back in time, fouls him clumsily, Harden finishes with the flip shot and the nails the foul shot.
  • Oklahoma leads 43-31 with six and a half minutes left in the first half
  • Kobe Bryant retrieves the loose ball, three foot behind the arc, decides to wind up and take one, hits it.
  • Westbrook answers back with a dribble pull up against Kobe and Bynum off the low PnR (19 feet) and jumper from the right elbow. Next possession, Westbrook in transition, drive and dish, to Durant, to Harden, misses.
  • Kobe Bryant in the early offense, attacks the defense before it’s fully set up, into the paint, stops, pump fakes, loses the shot blocker, goes glass, makes it. Clever play.
  • Kevin Durant drops the foul line pull up J over Artest
  • Andrew Bynum gets another one right at the rim as Sessions air balls his off balance flip shot.
  • Westbrook with another pull up jump shot from the elbow off the PnR. Left wing this time, left elbow.
  • Oklahoma lead 50-38 with four minutes to play
  • Sessions works with Artest’s pick, gets around Fisher, open baseline, layup Sessions.
  • Kevin Durant misses a three pointer after stepping behind the pick
  • Lovely pass by Bynum (left post) to a cutting Artest from the weakside, layup. Timeout OKC.
  • Reggie Miller is making a lot of points about how LA is getting shots right at the rim while OKC is taking a lot of jump-shots. Right about LA getting high quality looks at the basket but I don’t agree with his criticism of OKC’s offense. I think they are getting a good number of high percentage shots themselves and the rest are good percentage looks. Offense functioning well.
  • Artest left post Durant, faces up, bricks the shot. Lotta length to attack in a face up.
  • Ha, Perk with a 16 footer above the foul line. Makes it.
  • Sessions misses the leaner in the paint, rebound Durant, brings it upcourt, sets it up, Artest strips him, Thabo gets the loose ball (all the little plays), swings it to Westbrook, Westbrook nails the three as Perk comes up to set a pick. 15 points for Westbrook.
  • Bynum posts up Perk left post, turns baseline, turnaround J, makes it. Nice shot. I’d like to see him take that baseline turnaround shot more often. It’s unblockable with his size and length.
  • Nice ball movement from LA to work the ball out to Kobe Bryant in the right corner (opposite side of the court from where the move started), misses.
  • Bynum refuses to come out on that pick, Durant attacks him and then pulls up from 12 feet, easy shot. Bad defense by Bynum. Kept moving back and conceding space to Durant.
  • Final 40 seconds, Bynum has to drive from 15 feet out, moves across the paint, takes a sweeping shot, misses. Oklahoma rebounds, holds it for the final shot, Durant has it, takes the three from behind the pick, misses, rebound Kobe.
  • Oklahoma lead 59-44

Halftime box score stats

  • Oklahoma have scored 59 points on 24-45 FGAs, 2-6 from behind the arc and 9-11 FTs. They have only one turnover.
  • The Lakers have scored 44 points on 18-42 FGAs (and that is with all their high percentage shots at the basket from Bynum and Co.), 3-6 from downtown and are 5-6 FTs. They have 8 turnovers.
  • Those 8 turnovers (a +7 differential for OKC) have cost LA 15 points
  • The Lakers have made those possessions back up though by beating Oklahoma on the boards 25-19 (+6 differential).
  • Westbrook is the leading man for Oklahoma with 17 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Kevin Durant adds 12 and 4 (rebs). Harden has 9 points.
  • The Thunder have also gotten good scoring help from their supporting cast – 6 from Ibaka, 5 from Cook, 4 from Collison, 4 from Nazr and a bucket apiece from Thabo and Perk.
  • The Lakers have been led by 14 points and 9 rebounds from Andrew Bynum. They have also gotten 10 points from Artest most of which came early in the first (at least 8 of the 10) and 10 points from Kobe. Pau Gasol has 7 rebounds but only 6 points on 3-9 FGAs. Ramon Sessions has only 2 points and 1 assist. Their bench has only one field goal for 2 points total.

I feel very confident in Oklahoma’s chances of winning this game. The Lakers transition defense and pick and roll defense simply isn’t up to par. They can’t beat OKC without a much stronger effort in these efforts.

Third Quarter

  • Oklahoma leading 59-44 to start the second half
  • Kevin Durant hits a left elbow jumper off the PnR as Bynum again refuses to close out on him.
  • Excellent smothering defense by Thabo Sefolosha to deny Kobe Bryant the driving lanes and then stayed down on his feet as Kobe threw up a bunch of pump fakes and almost blocked the shot to top it off. Forced miss.
  • A back screen for Westbrook who cuts to the rim, alley oop lob pass from Durant to Westbrook, slam dunk!
  • Lakers miss again, Oklahoma rebound, fastbreak the other way, drive and kick to Durant on the left wing, Durant drills a three pointer. A 7-0 run by Oklahoma to start the third and timeout LA. Oklahoma is up 22 points.
  • Oh boy, defensive miscue by Bynum, he thought Perk was coming up for the pick but Perk kept going to the basket while Bynum went up, left him all alone at the rim, pass and slam dunk. Oh oh, Perk hurt himself there. Trying to run it off. Nope, pulled. Perk heading to the locker room. Looks like he is in trouble.
  • Kobe Bryant working against 2-3 defenders on the left post, forces a heavily contested shot, misses, luckily for LA Bynum is there for the follow.
  • Ramon Sessions into the lane, runner, back rims it. Went a bit too deep there and made the shot more difficult (more contested).
  • A drive and kick from Westbrook (right wing PnR) to Thabo (left wing) swung to the corner (left) to Durant who drills home the three pointer. A 26 point lead.
  • Turnover Kobe Bryant, stripped by Thabo at the top of the key, breakaway, nobody is catching up with him, slam dunk! The crowd is going crazy. A 28 point lead.
  • Andrew Bynum draws a foul in the paint on his jump hook in the middle of the paint. Makes both.
  • Westbrook into the lane again, dishes it to the right corner to Thabo who drains the short three pointer. 29 point lead. 8 minutes to play in the third.
  • Kobe Bryant catches it on the right elbow extended, one dribble right, pull up jumper over Sefolosha, hits it.
  • Appearently — according to TNT’s Reggie Miller — the Thunder have had a double digit lead in all regular season contests against the Lakers this season. Says a lot about this matchup.
  • Sessions drives baseline out of the corner as his defender falls asleep on the ball, attacks the rim, met at the basket by Ibaka and Nazr, rejected by Ibaka.
  • Oklahoma lead 79-50 with seven minutes left in the third.
  • Westbrook gets to the foul line and puts Oklahoma up 31 points midway through the third quarter
  • Thabo strips Kobe again, ahhh … the refs bailed out Kobe and gave him a call. No way. Clean strip.

It would take a miracle for the Lakers to come back from a 30 point deficit at this juncture against a club as talented and as keyed in as the Thunder currently.

I am going to end the game log here. I’ll watch on and re-open it if LA makes a run.

  • Update: Oklahoma leads 98-68 to begin the fourth quarter
  • Update: Oklahoma leads 106-76  midway through the fourth quarter.
  • This game is over.

Final Words

A terrific performance and result for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They did just about everything right tonight. Their offensive execution was brilliant and their defensive effort was very very good.

Meanwhile, LA, they just didn’t do enough defensively in transition or in the pick and roll to win this game. These are the two key areas for them in this series. They must do a better job in transition defense and PnR defense to have a chance at beating this talented Oklahoma team.

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