The Golden Oldies still can get the ball in the basket. Kobe had 30 points and was efficient all night until missing his final three shots. He didn't score in the final 7:17. And Nash shook off a rough start to finish with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting and key a Laker rally from a 16-point halftime deficit.
But the Lakers just have no answer for the talents of Westbrook and Durant. Or Serge Ibaka, who overcame early foul trouble and had springs in his legs late when the Lakers were gassed. Or even Reggie Jackson, who repeatedly blew by the Lakers and had 10 points in 13 minutes of playing time.
The Lakers ran out of fuel late, failing to score the final 6:14. The Lakers missed their final 10 shots, completing a nice circle, since they missed their first 10 shots, too. But unlike in the first quarter, the Thunder didn't foul down the stretch.
The only first-half Thunder turnover came when Ronnie Brewer's pass to Nick Collison went out of bounds, and both adamantly claimed it was off the Lakers. Brooks agreed but also smiled and said the Thunder would talk about both turnovers.
So off went the Lakers, failing to get over .500 but, at 30-31, still in decent shape to rise to the eighth spot in the Western Conference and make the playoffs.
Perhaps even against the Thunder. But Oklahoma City is the last place these Lakers want to see again. They can't beat the Thunder.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.