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Lakers vs. Thunder Game 5 (End of third quarter): Lakers 88, Thunder 60

Lakers3_300 You can pretty much count this one as over. The Lakers put together a command performance. And it was the big men, Pau Gasaol and Andrew Bynum, who were leading the way. In fact, Kobe Bryant went to the bench a little early not because he needed to but because he could.

The fired up Staples Center crowd now only had one thing on their mind -- free tacos for the Lakers holding the Thunder under 100 points.

--John Cherwa

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest ties up Thunder guard Russell Westbrook as center Andrew Bynum provides help defense in the first half Tuesday night. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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MAYBE JUST took a talented 8 seed delivering an embarrasing loss to awaken the sleeping giant...tonight the Lakers played more focused, more team oriented than I've seen this season. I believe the light bulb may have finally gone on! They now see how well the team can play, how dominating they can be when they play together not concerned about personal stats but simply the W. That does not mean they will in game 6 as OKC is energized (fed) from a robust crowd..but they will win this series and I truly believe their play will be elevated in subsequent rounds now that they've seen how well this game plan can work if they play together. Thank you OKC for embarrasing us...thank you commentators for disrespecting us..we needed something to wake us up and MAYBE JUST MAYBE you have

Was i right or what? The biggest news is that kobe now has arthritis. He played and played with a messed up finger for 2 years without any rest or surgery. Now he has to pay the price.

Was i right or what? The biggest news is that kobe now has arthritis. He played and played with a messed up finger for 2 years without any rest or surgery. Now he has to pay the price.

Kobe Legacy - Kobe has no one but himself to thank for the play of OKC..not for the "hater" reasons Kobe haters like to spew; "shoots too much..ball hog..yada yada". No, the truth is OKC is really a talented college team with several young 20 somethings who grew up not wanting to be like Mike, but wanting to be like Kobe. As 10 year olds in their drive way, they imagined being Kobe Bryant dunking over whoever was foolish enough to get in his way (ala Yao or Nash to name a couple), they saw Kobe dropping 81 one night and 60 another without playing the 4th quarter. They saw Kobe call for the ball against Utah only to air ball shots in pressure situations, then they saw him call for the ball again unphased. They watched commercials showing how hard he worked in the weight room, watched him call out Shaq to get into shape because championships were what they played for. They saw him become the best closer (assasin) in the game and they said I want to be like that. Just as Michael gave rise to Kobe, Kobe has spawned Lebron and all the other up and coming stars of today. They watched and learned they had to work hard, had to be fearless, had to want to take the big shots and if missed, take them again. When I see Kobe's rings, MVP's, scoring and dunking championships, that's not the legacy I see. No, I see the generation of players who he influenced...that's his true legacy.



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