It confirmed, once and for all, that the Lakers indeed can not guard the Thunder. It showed, once again, that this team, in this round, would not be stopped.
The basket broke a stalemate at 70 and put the Thunder ahead for good.
“I thought from that point on, we really played with great energy on the offensive end,” Brooks said. “We moved the ball and we made shots.”
The Thunder immediately went on a 23-7 run, including a 10-0 spurt to start the fourth quarter, that broke open the game and eventually lead to a 17-point lead from which the Lakers could never recover.
“Sessions grabbed me kind of early,” Westbrook said, “and I just tried to throw it to the rim and luckily it went in. That kind of sparked us, and everybody else kept it going from there.”
Westbrook led the way.
He scored 12 of the Thunder’s points during that surge, capping the run with a scooping layup with 9:28 left to play. Before that, Durant drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to help extend the lead.
The Thunder will now move on to face San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals. The Spurs have won 18 straight games dating to the regular season.
Game 1 is Sunday at 7:30 p.m. in San Antonio.