The Lakers were pretty much done by the opening minutes of the third quarter, and by the end of the third frame, OKC had disposed of the bodies in a covered ditch. A 15-2 run spanning the end of the second quarter to the start of the second half, which was punctuated by a Russell Westbrook lob and then a pull-up transition triple from Kevin Durant, put the home team up by 22 and it only got worse from there. In Game 1 of perhaps the most hyped series of the playoffs so far, the Thunder strangled L.A., 119-90. In a way it was shocking. But then again, it wasn’t, even if Metta World Peace was shocked enough to leave center stage with nearly an entire quarter to go and head back to the locker room. We had a feeling this would happen, the worst massacre since Cappadonna on “Winter Warz,” especially with the weary Lakers – who constantly get blown out on the road – coming into a crazed environment. The Artist Formerly Known As World Peace came out and immediately hit his first three, then dished to Andrew Bynum (20 points, 14 rebounds) for a dunk, and then not more than a minute later he hit another long shot. That was just as unsurprising as seeing JaVale McGee tweet out a picture of himself holding two baby platypuses. We knew he’d come out like the crazy lunatic he is, and we also figured he couldn’t keep it up … As for OKC, Durant scored 25 in 28 minutes while Westbrook was a stud, and probably burned 600 calories in celebrating alone. He lit up Kobe with 27 points and nine dimes, and had Bryant (20 points) on the bench late in the second half contemplating his next trip to Germany. As for the Beard, it seemed like every time James Harden (17 points) did something even remotely good during the first quarter – come into the game, hit a layup, knock a ball off Kobe – the all-country OKC crowd went off as if someone just told them CBS is about to run 24 hours of “Everybody Loves Raymond” re-runs … Does anyone know where we can locate Ramon Sessions (two points)? Laker fans must be so happy their team traded for Sessions so that Bryant could wear out his brittle knees chasing around a 23-year-old All-Star point guard for 40 minutes a game in the playoffs. Wait … There was also Pau Gasol (a meaningless 10 points and seven rebounds) going through another sex change to become a woman for 48 minutes again. Okay, that’s a little extreme, but seriously, how can you trust a cat who brings it every third game in the playoffs? They desperately needed him, especially with the Thunder pitching what was pretty much a perfect game. They had big nights from their three stars, combining for 69 points even though none of them even played 30 minutes. They had four turnovers for the entire game while shooting 53 percent. And they turned the Laker bench into mush … By the way, did you catch our list of the 10 best LeBron James/Dwyane Wade alley-oops we’ve seen in the past two years? You probably need to watch these … Keep reading to hear about the ugliest game of the playoffs …
People have been complaining about it for four years now, but Doug Collins finally got the zebras to call an illegal screen on Kevin Garnett. Too bad it came with the game on the line: Celts down three with 10 seconds left. Boston lost Game 2 to Philly by one, and if you had watched the game, this ugly finish was really the only way they could’ve possibly finished off this incredibly heinous game. Both teams made shots late, including a couple of Celtic triples, a huge layup from Evan Turner and an enormous triple from Jrue Holiday (18 points). But that wasn’t the story … The Celtics immediately jumped out to 9-0 lead in the opening minutes, yet couldn’t sustain it in part because Rajon Rondo (13 assists) refused to shoot and Brandon Bass wouldn’t stop shooting. Hopefully someone in Boston realizes this is the playoffs and “Operation: Get Bass Going” isn’t really something they should be doing. The man took a minimum of five perimeter jumpers in the first eight minutes. Then there was Rondo, who must’ve passed up two or three layups before the first TV timeout. He did become probably the only player in history to throw lobs in one half to both Ryan Hollins AND Greg Stiemsma, but it felt like his first shot didnt come until the end of the first quarter, when he barely hit the glass on a long jumper (this would become a theme). The Sixers stayed close because Jrue Holiday was the only one in the arena not attempting to leave ugly ball prints on the backboard. He hit three triples before the break … Watching the second and third quarters, you’d think everyone had just come off a week in Vegas with Rodman‘s entourage, and then taken a red eye flight back to Boston to play a playoff game. Let’s just ban the Sixers from all postseasons in the near future. They’re like a contagious flu of bad basketball. During the regular season, we wrote that Philly might be the most boring playoff team to watch in the history of the NBA. They turned this thing into such a garbage basketball game that it even disrupted Ray Allen‘s flow; Jesus’ jumper felt – and looked – more Jake Shuttlesworth than something holy. At one point midway through the quarter, the Celtics were at 36 percent for the game while Philly was right underneath them at 35 percent, and a 14-0 Philly run near the end of the third should’ve been exemplary. Instead, everyone was just happy to see the scoreboard change … We were laughing about this recently with a couple of our Clipper homies from Los Angeles. Anyone remember when Elton Brand was actually good? And not just good, but MVP-good like he was in 2006? He was a double-double machine that year, and was in the conversation at times for best power forward in the league. In the third quarter last night, Brand had seven points while playing hurt, which would be awesome if we all decided to forget he had 21 total points in his last 22 QUARTERS before that … And we realize this is sort of a counter-productive argument after we pointed out Rondo’s “selfishly unselfish” attitude, but are we just going to ignore the fact that so far in these playoffs, Chris Paul has 50 assists and Rondo has… wait for it… 89?! That’s an absurd difference. Along with Rondo’s suspension, they’ve actually played the exact same number of games too. Sure Paul averages more points – 20.4 in the playoffs compared to Rondo’s 16.2 – but damn those assists totals are like the difference between Rob & Big … We’re out like Brand.
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