With 5:06 left in the game, the whistle blew, and referee David Jones called Russell Westbrook for traveling.
It was the Thunder's second turnover of the game. And the Thunder's last.
Yep, two turnovers. The whole game long. Tied the NBA record for fewest in a game. Usually, the high-flying Thunder produces more turnovers than Brown's Bakery at morning rush. Not this night.
The Thunder routed the Lakers 122-105 Tuesday night and showed that if the capable Lakers scratch their way into a playoff series against OKC, it's going to be a short fortnight for the Purple and Gold.
Purple and Old is more like it.
The Lakers still can play, especially offense, but not for long stretches of time. The Lakers are part all-star roster, part old-timers roster.
They just can't keep up with the Thunder. There's no substitute for young legs.
The Lakers can't put defensive pressure on the Thunder, which means no turnovers, which means Russell Westbrook (37 points) or Kevin Durant (26) or heck, even Older Than Dirt Himself Derek Fisher (10 points) is getting off a shot every time down court.
“Who would have thought we'd only end up with two turnovers,” asked Scotty Brooks. “We work on it. Just one of those things. It's not like we're not aware we turn the ball over 15 times a game.”
And it's not like the Thunder slowed the pace to take better care of the ball. The Boomers might need to do that against the Heat or the Clippers or the Nuggets. But not against the Lakers.
The Thunder had 22 fast-break points, got up 96 shots and 24 foul shots. The 122 points came without any fouling at the end, which can pad a team's point total.
Nope, this was mostly about the Lakers' inability to match up. During one two-minute stretch, Laker coach Mike D'Antoni used a lineup of 39-year-old Steve Nash, 36-year-old Antawn Jamison, 34-year-old Kobe Bryant and 33-year-old Metta World Chaos, along with 25-year-old Earl Clark.
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.