Metta World Peace drew plenty of reactions from Thunder fans in his first appearance in the city since his elbow to the face of James Harden drew a seven-game suspension.
Afterward, World Peace reacted to the Thunder fans showing their displeasure.
After saying he would welcome fans' reactions on his website and podcast after the season, World Peace said he was paying attention to the crowd — just not what they said.
“They're great fans,” World Peace said. “They're good-looking women.
“I'm looking up in the stands and thinking, ‘Wow, you all are beautiful.'”
When asked what he'd do differently for Game 2 after the Thunder blowout, World Peace said he “might get a haircut.”
A DIFFERENT OKC
When it faced the defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs two years ago, the Thunder was young, raw and eventually eliminated.
After Monday's route, there is a significantly different look to OKC.
“Obviously, they're more experienced,” Pau Gasol said, comparing the 2010 series to this season's. “That was kind of their first rodeo. They've been through a couple (more playoff series), as you can tell. Their confidence, it's a lot higher than it was (in 2010).
“They had a lot of energy, and they're an athletic team. They're always aggressive, always in attack mode, but we have to be able to control that, stop that burst. We'll worry about next game, and then go from there.”
In the past, the Thunder frequently has struggled in the first home game it plays in a playoff series. It lost its home opener against Memphis and Dallas last season and almost lost its home opener against Dallas this season, winning on Kevin Durant's good-bounce jumper with 1.5 seconds left.
Though the Lakers jumped out to a 12-6 lead after the first three minutes Monday, OKC did not seem rattled. The Lakers were simply making shots, converting six of its first seven.
The Thunder closed the first quarter on a 24-11 run, owned a 59-44 lead at intermission and led by as many as 35.
Asked if sensed his team might have been pressing in the previous openers, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said: “I haven't sensed that, but no question it's overwhelming going into our gym. It's a great crowd. I walk in and I'm like, ‘Oh, my gosh.'
“It's an amazing building and we all are thankful that we have it every night. I think it's more that than pressing. I've never seen our guys press or stress over the start of a game.”
‘TURN' THE TIDE
The Thunder committed just one turnover in the first half and finished with a season-low four, which led to six Lakers points.
LA committed 15 turnovers, which the Thunder turned into 22 points.
OKC led the league in turnovers during the regular season at 16.3 per game. On the flip side, the Lakers were convincingly last in opponent turnovers at just 11.3 per game.
Walking side-by-side down a hallway after the game were former Kansas teammates Cole Aldrich of the Thunder and former Putnam City standout Xavier Henry of the New Orleans Hornets. … Despite the Lakers' height advantage, OKC outscored them 48-44 in the paint. … The Thunder outscored the Lakers 22-11 on second-chance points and 13-0 on fast-break points. … LA shot better from 3-point range (.438) than from two-point range (.431). … The Lakers had 15 turnovers, 14 assists and one steal. The Thunder had 20 assists, 13 steals and four turnovers.
Lakers coach Mike Brown on the OKC crowd: “I'll tell you what, the fans here are great. Whether that incident (between World Peace and James Harden) happened or not, whether Metta was here or not, this building is going to be loud. It's going to be of-the-charts loud. Without really thinking about it, it's definitely in the top 3 (loudest NBA arenas) – at worst top 5.”