Los Angeles Lakers romp at home, lead Oklahoma City Thunder 3-2 in West first-round series | NBA playoffs
Pau Gasol collected 25 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Bynum added 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers vigorously rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 111-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference first-round series.
LOS ANGELES — Pau Gasol collected 25 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Bynum added 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers vigorously rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 111-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference first-round series.
Game 6 of the best-of-seven series is Friday in Oklahoma City.
"This is the kind of game we can play when we're executing well on both ends of the court," said Bynum, who set a career playoff scoring high. "We need to try to close it out now, and not be satisfied with this."
Kobe Bryant had 13 points and seven assists in three quarters of work as the defending league champions coolly shook off the eighth-seeded Thunder's series-tying blowout victory in Game 4 with a comprehensive thrashing of the playoff newcomers.
With their offense purring and their defense throttling Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Lakers led by 21 points at halftime and went ahead by 32 late in the third quarter.
Durant scored 17 points and Westbrook had 15 on combined 9-for-27 shooting for Oklahoma City, which never recovered after missing its first 13 shots.
"I wish I could say why, but they kicked our butts from the beginning," former Sonic Durant said of the Lakers. "They had some dunks early on and got the fans excited and they just kind of cruised from there."
The Lakers also got 14 points in a resurgent effort from Ron Artest, whose shooting problems had overshadowed his defense in the series' first four games.
At Mavericks 103, Spurs 81
Caron Butler scored a career playoff-best 35 points and had 11 rebounds, keeping Dallas alive by leading the Mavericks past San Antonio.
Second-seeded Dallas cut seventh-seeded San Antonio's lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series. Game 6 is Thursday in San Antonio.
The Spurs trailed 53-46 at halftime. Dallas didn't let them hang around much longer. Butler had a layup and two free throws during a 10-0 flurry to open the third quarter.
Tony Parker led San Antonio with 18 points.
At Cavaliers 96, Bulls 94
LeBron James narrowly missed a triple-double despite an injured right elbow, and top-seeded Cleveland advanced to an Eastern Conference playoff date with the Boston Celtics by eliminating Chicago in five games in their first-round series.
There is speculation it was Vinny Del Negro's final game as coach of the Bulls.
James, whose elbow went numb and caused him to shoot a free throw left-handed in the closing seconds, scored 19 points — 16 in the second half — and added 10 rebounds and nine assists.
James, who has had tests done on the elbow, said, "It bothers me because I don't know what it is."
Antawn Jamison scored 25 points for Cleveland.
Derrick Rose scored 31 points and Luol Deng had 26 for the Bulls.
At Celtics 96, Heat 86
Ex-Sonic Ray Allen scored 24 points, making five three-pointers in the second half, to help Boston oust Miami in five games.
With Heat superstar Dwyane Wade expected to become a free agent — along with James — it could be an eventful summer in Miami.
Wade had 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in Game 5.
"I can't predict the future," said Wade, who averaged 33.2 points in the series. "It's going to be a very important summer. It's going to be a busy summer. But right now I've still got to get this out of my system first.
"I'm a good sportsman, but I don't take losing well."
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.