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Lakers vs. Thunder Game 5 (Final): Lakers 111, Thunder 87

April 27, 2010 | 10:21 pm

Lakers10_510 Take a big sigh of relief Los Angeles, it looks like the Lakers are back. At least for one game.

In game that was never in doubt the Lakers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-87, in Game 5 of a first-round Western Conference series. Game 6 is Friday night in Oklahoma City.

The Lakers got a lot of help from areas that have been lacking. Pau Gasol had 25 points in about 30 minutes, including five for five from the free-throw line. And Andrew Bynum came out strong in the first quarter and turned in a 21-point game. Kobe Bryant, who also played only 30 minutes, finished with 13 points but no one seemed to mind. The Lakers had good spacing on offense and aggressive defense.

The fourth quarter was really an exercise in reserves as the Lakers' starters got a fair amount of rest.

As for the hyper-excited Lakers crowd in Staples Center, they spent the final quarter rooting for their taco payoff, which happens whenever the Lakers hold a team under 100 points during a victory.

Even that wasn’t in doubt.

--John Cherwa

Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum alters the shot of Thunder guard Russell Westbrook in Game 5 on Tuesday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Tmes