Sunday , Apr , 18 , 2010 C.Y. Ellis

Liveblogging Game 1 of LAL-OKC

I’ll be taking quick notes as I watch the game here. Feel free to drop in your comments below. They update in real time.

- What is Andrew Bynum drinking? A pre-game shot shows him chugging a foaming red liquid from a water bottle.

- OKC tosses the ball to Durant for the first play.  He dribbles around for a few seconds before tossing up an awkward brick. Bad opening.

- Pau connects on a shot with so much arc the ball came down with snow on it.

- That red stuff is obviously working for Bynum, who connects on his first attempt.

- Durant botches an open layup. Let’s hope that’s a fumble and not a sign of the pressure getting to him.

- Ron’s blond ‘do has faded to an unsightly ginger.

- OKC commits a shot-clock violation. Their youth is showing already.

- KRS-One finally scores for OKC.  Can you believe he’s their oldest starter at 26?

- Kobe’s sticking to his standard playoffs plan: Distribute early, score late.

- Durantula tries to draw the foul and tosses one off the backboard. The young guy looks a little unsettled at this point.

- Kobe finishes a tricky move with a simple layup at the rim. That’s what happens when you isolate him with Russell Westbrook. 

- Ron is whistled for a foul he seems to think he didn’t commit. The replay supports him.

- Bynum gets away with a shot at Jeff Green. The league might be reviewing that one.

- Kobe snatches it from Durant to give himself an open dunk. If Kobe can get inside the Durantula’s head with plays like that, this series will be over before it begins.

- Bynum takes his aggression out on Sefolosha’s shot as he knocks an open layup off the backboard.

- Kevin Durant makes his first confident move of the game as he gathers a Westbrook miss and lays it in.

- Bynum’s drinking that red stuff again. It looks like Kool-Aid when you use too much artificial sugar.

- Lamar Odom makes his presence known when he finds PG with an alley-oop pass.  Well, it kind of looks like an alley-oop. I can never tell if Pau Gasol has actually left the floor on a dunk.

- Fisher, who is as comfortable in the playoffs as anybody in the league, squares up and swishes a three.

- Durant responds with a trey of his own after breaking Ron-Ron’s ankles with a jab-fake.

- Ron tries to respond with a triple at the other end and bricks it from the baseline. He then lines up another one and makes it. 

- Odom makes an ill-advised move on two defenders, trips and calls a time-out. Phil Jackson hates the decision, and so do I. I never liked the practice of calling time whenever you stand to lose possession, no matter how early in the game. Save it for the fourth.

- Coming out of that time-out, Kobe knocks down a turn-around 18-footer.

- A close shot of Scotty Brooks shows a few fans sitting in the $1000+ seats wearing SuperSonics jerseys. Keep the SOS campaign alive, fellas.

- Collison’s put-back of KD’s airballed three is clearly late, and the replay confirms that. OKC finishes the quarter down but not out. Durant needs to play with a little more chutzpah for this to become a game.

- In celebration of LA’s tradition of semi-decent Mexican food, I’m microwaving a burrito. I don’t know what they eat in OKC, but I’ll throw some barbecue sauce on there just in case. They eat barbecue there, right? It’s right next to Texas.

- I googled it. Turns out they’re big on steak in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, I don’t have any microwave steak in my apartment. Or any actual meat at all. I’m not even sure these are real beans in the burrito.

- On his first touch of the second quarter, Lamar tries to split a double team, then commits a charge on Collison. Great work there, Mr. Kardashian.

- KD hits from 20 feet. For the sake of this game, I’m hoping he catches fire.

- OKC’s making a little run here, and the deficit is down to 10. Jax wisely calls a time-out. 

- Kobe makes it to the charity stripe, and the "MVP" chants start a little early.

- Pau Gasol draws a foul with little to no contact from Ibaka and tosses in a very clumsy shot before finishing the old-fashioned three-point play.

- Kobe swings through to create a little space, then knocks down a three from the top of the arc. The lead is back to 15 for the Lakers.

- Andrew Bynum brings Jack Nicholson to his feet when he swats KD’s shot at one end, then finishes a loping post move with an emphatic slam over Nenad Krstic.

- Kobe penetrates and dishes to Bynum for another facial, this time a two-handed and-one.

- Nenad Krstic may be 26, but his hair is 62. I’ve seen plenty of younger dudes go bald, but not like that.

- Durant is working overtime to get away from Ron Artest.

- Odom switches to pick up Durant, who only has to turn his back slightly to catch the ball. That’s the difference between an elite defender and a lazy one.

 

- ABC gives us the obligatory celebrity recap, and the first up is Khloé Kardashian Odom. Is that her name now? Last I heard, the marriage wasn’t yet official.

- Ron-Ron’s Rodman emulation now goes as far as the leg-kick rebound.

- OKC has quietly been making another little run, cutting a 17-point lead to 8 on a Westbrook pull-up.

- Westbrook knifes through the lane again. He now has OKC’s last 8 points.

- Derek Fisher can’t connect on the three right before the intermission, and the half ends with LAL up 8.

- It’s hard to get a handle on this game, and the halftime report doesn’t offer much in the way of statistical elucidation.

- I still can’t look directly at Stuart Scott.

- Scott announces that Lamar Odom views himself "not at the husband of Khloé Kardashian, but as a Transformer." In that case, I’m a spaceship.

- "How can you defend me when I can transform? I am…more than meets the eye." That’s right, Lamar: You’re a basketball player and a very confused little boy.

- Odom spends a few minutes telling us all the ways he’s great. I try to verify that with the first-half box score. LO has the notable line of 3 boards, 1 assist, 0 points, 1 turnover and 2 fouls. I guess he decided to transform into an unimpressive swingman today. A Mediocricon, if you will.

- Westbrook picks up where he left off, cutting the lead to 6.

- Kobe overtakes Durant on the break and blocks his layup attempt with gusto. Worse gets worserer for KD.

- Kobe runs off-court for a loose ball, and one lady photographer leans back so far she ends up sprawled out on the hardwood. Kobe plays the gentleman by helping her back up.

- JVG: "There should be no call ever when two players have fallen to the floor." This is why I love JVG.

- Westbrook is still tearing it up. Good things happen every time he attacks the bucket.

- Once again, Westbrook beats his defender, takes off in the middle of the paint and banks in a double-clutch layup plus the foul. He’s contributed 16 of OKC’s last 17 points, and he’s giving the Lakers fits.

- On the very next play he cuts diagonally across the paint and dishes off to Ibaka for the easy layup. This could be a coming-out party for Westbrook.

- The third quarter with the Lakers holding an 8-point lead. If Westbrook stays hot and Durant finds his form, this one could be very interesting.

- Farmar’s triple confirms that the Lakers are hot from distance. The lead’s back to 11, but the game is far from over.

- Bynum’s still playing like a grown man around the hoop.

- Luke Walton enters the game and immediately throws a teardrop five feet over the rim. It was closer to the iron while it was still in his hand than it was when it passed over the cup.

- Ron Artest forces a jump-ball with Kevin Durant, but tips the ball to Collison. There’s a scramble after the play that ends with Kevin Durant being fouled and sent to the line. KD hits both to make it a 7-point game.

- Kobe hits a trademark three to make it a double-digit lead once more.

- Durant finally gets an open look at the hoop and swishes the elbow jumper. His efforts are quickly negated, however, as Odom hits a trey at the other end.

- Just as the Lakers look as if they’re in control, Nick Collison improves a spin move for the and-one layup. The ensuing free throw cuts it back to 8.

- Kobe’s reaching foul on Westbrook puts LAL in the penalty. RW sinks them both to make it a 6-point game.

- Lamar Odom very clearly travels, and nobody seems to mind.

- Kobe stretches it back to 8 with a tough, contested banker.

- Westbrook gathers his own miss and finds Durant, who draws a blocking foul on Kobe. Mamba protests his innocence, but the replay doesn’t back him up one bit. Durant ices both and it’s a 6-point game again.

- Westbrook appears to knock Gasol’s shot away cleanly, but the refs whistle him for it.

- Fish finds himself with a little space walking the ball up to the arc, and that’s all he needs. They review the play, but it looks like a legit three. After some discussion, the refs rule it a triple.

- Kobe once again looks incredulous as he’s whistled for the foul. Green splits the free throws to cut the LA lead to 9.

- Kevin Durant slams it on the break to give the Thunder hope with a little under a minute remaining.

- OKC refuse to foul on the following play. Odom does them a favour by committing a charge and turning the ball with 35.5 left on the clock. 

 - Jeff Green catches the ball running to the corner but clearly travels before he can set his feet for the three.

- The Thunder send Gasol to the line with an intentional foul. Pau hits both to put the game out of contention, barring a miracle.

- That’s the game. It wasn’t the prettiest of contests, but it ended much as we expected it to. Still, I think the Thunder have more in them than most expected. I anticipated a sweep before the series, but now I’d be surprised if OKC didn’t take one at home.

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