Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum sat on the Lakers bench deep in conversation after the final buzzer sounded.
Even as their teammates left the court and the streamers fell from rafters and the dancing girls took over the hardwood, the Laker big men stayed on the bench. They pointed at different spots on the court. They leaned in to hear each other. It was an intense discussion.
A good three or four minutes went by before they finally left the bench and headed to the locker room.
Rarely do you see that kind of thing.
Then again, rarely does a team get beat quite like this in the playoffs.
Thunder 119, Lakers 90.
Perhaps Gasol and Bynum sensed what others did after Game 1 of this second-round playoff series — this wasn't some sort of aberration. This wasn't a particularly hot night for the Thunder. This wasn't an extremely off night for the Lakers.
This was a sign of things to come. Now, the Thunder might not win every game by four touchdowns. The Lakers might even win a game or two and avoid a sweep in the series.
But the bottom line is, the Thunder is clearly the superior squad.
“We're going to have to play better,” Laker coach Mike Brown said. “It's as simple as that.”
But easy? No way.
The Lakers are seriously overmatched. They don't have the advantage on offense. They don't have the advantage on defense.
The stats tell the story.
The Thunder committed only four turnovers but assisted on 20 of its 44 baskets. It had 13 fast-break points while the Lakers had none. It won points in the paint, 48-44. It won second-chance points, 21-11. It won bench scoring, 50-26.
But let's go back to those turnovers for a minute.