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OKC Thunder: Eliminated Lakers offer congrats to Thunder

Metta World Peace said: “Oklahoma, they were the better team.”
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: May 22, 2012

Repeated chants of “Beat L-A” cascaded down from the sellout crowd of 18,203 all night long at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

And when the Thunder indeed had beaten LA, the handshake line formed slowly in front of the scorer's table after the final buzzer sounded late Monday night.

The Thunder finished off the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1 in their best-of-7 playoff series with a 106-90 victory in Game 5.

Despite their obvious euphoria, OKC players remained rather stoic, reacting as though they had just beaten the New Jersey Nets sometime in February.

More business awaits the Thunder, which advances to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight season. OKC will play at San Antonio in Game 1 on Sunday at 7:30 p.m.

The beleaguered and beaten Lakers still lined up to give their props to the victors.

At the front of the OKC line stood three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, who was met first by Lakers coach Mike Brown.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks and Brown then exchanged pleasantries.

James Harden and Metta World Peace, an NBA sideshow since World Peace delivered a vicious elbow on April 22, slowly worked their way through the line before they finally came face-to-face.

World Peace gave a faint smile. Whatever reaction Harden had was swallowed by his lengthy beard.

They cupped hands, shared a hug, gave each other one pat on the back and then moved down the line.

World Peace said he told Harden, “Great job” and added, “James is a really good player.”

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