For the Los Angeles Lakers, Game 1 of their first-round match up against the Oklahoma City Thunder played out as planned as they cruised to an 87-79 win on April 18 in Los Angeles.
Sophomore star Kevin Durant and the No. 8 seeded Thunder (50-32) remained competitive for four quarters, but the top-seeded Lakers (57-25) had too much firepower as four players scored double digits in points, including superstar Kobe Bryant with 21 points.
Durant, a native of Washington D.C., led his team with 24 points, short of his season-average of 30.1 points per game which made him the league’s regular season scoring leader. Teammate Russell Westbrook added 23 points and a team-high eight assists.
Los Angeles used its size advantage to dominate the paint as forward Pau Gasol scored a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow 7-footer Andrew Bynum also tallied a double-double of 13 points with 12 rebounds.
The Lakers will attempt to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series in Game 2 on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:30 p.m.