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OKC Thunder: Rest trumped rust, and Russell Westbrook trumped them all

Young legs ran circles around veteran mettle. Thunder blue routed Laker purple. Rest trumped rust. And Russ trumped them all.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 15, 2012

“Coach (Brooks) emphasized at halftime coming out, playing with the same intensity,” Westbrook said. “From then on, it was cruising for us.”

Westbrook was sensational: 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting, with seven rebounds, nine assists and one turnover.

Durant had 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting, with eight rebounds.

Brown said both Boomers got in a rhythm on a normally tough shot — pulling up in front of defenders for a jumper, knowing another defender was coming from behind.

The Lakers tried everything — including extended use of a zone defense — and nothing worked.

And now LA has precious little time to fix things. Or rest up. There are only two off days before Game 4.

More bad news for the Lakers. No Thunder played more than Durant's 28 minutes, 41 seconds. Four Lakers played at least 29 minutes: Kobe, Bynum, Pau Gasol and Metta World Chaos.

The Thunder got more rest even while playing with a bundle of juice.

“We came out tonight with a lot of energy,” Durant said. “We need to do that the rest of the series.”

Is there a reason to think the Thunder won't? These guys, no matter how well they play, always play hard.

“They're just younger and faster,” Kobe said with a degree of resignation.

The Lakers are a proud franchise with a team full of stars. They won't go easy. But that doesn't mean they won't go quickly.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at 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

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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