By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma City cruised to an easy 120-91 Game 1 win on Sunday night over the Rockets. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Despite Houston’s shooting struggles early on, the Rockets somehow found themselves down only two late in the first half. But then, OKC’s previously stagnant offense finally found a rhythm. And with it, this one was over. The Thunder ended the first half on a 14-3 run, carrying that momentum deep into the third quarter for an easy blowout, which included plenty of fourth quarter rest for the stars.
It was over when…
…Kendrick Perkins (yes, Kendrick Perkins?!) tossed a second-half alley hoop to Serge Ibaka. It was the highlight of the night for Thunder fans and the definitive nail in Houston’s Game 1 coffin. If this is happening to you, well, just go home.
Star of the game – Russell Westbrook
Coming in, you knew Westbrook had a highly favorable matchup at the point guard position, only question was whether he could take advantage of it. He did, in a big way, compiling a 19-point, 10-assist, eight-rebound game in 30 dominant minutes. He was the best player on a court filled with All-Stars.
Stats of note
-OKC’s 60 first half points were its most ever in playoff game. And it didn’t even feel like they played that well.
-Kevin Durant finished with a game-high 24 points, six rebounds and four assists.
-Home teams were 8-0 on opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.
The formerly friendly confines of Chesapeake Energy Arena haven’t been good to old friend James Harden (and neither has Serge Ibaka’s right hand). Harden went 6/19 shooting (he’s now 9/35 from the field in two games at OKC this year), finishing with 20 inefficient points. Houston won’t win a game if he doesn’t play much better.
Jeremy Lin: 1/7 shooting, four points, four turnovers, five fouls and a plus/minus of -23 in 32 unimpactful minutes. But hey, at least he provided us with the strangest picture of the postseason so far:
Serge Ibaka block, Thabo Sefolosha one-hand heave, Kendrick Perkins slam. Probably the prettiest sequence of the game.
Game 2 is Wednesday in OKC.