RUSSELL Westbrook had 27 points and nine assists, Kevin Durant added 25 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder blasted the weary Los Angeles Lakers, 119-90, on Monday night in the opening game of the Western Conference semifinals.
The Thunder took a 15-point halftime lead, then opened the third quarter with a 15-2 blitz filled with homecrowd-pleasing three-pointers and dunks.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 35 points, getting a measure of vengeance for the elbow Metta World Peace delivered to the head of the Thunder's James Harden 3 weeks earlier - and without needing dirty tactics to do it. Thunder starting center Kendrick Perkins limped off after aggravating a hip injury from the first round.
* As has been expected for months, Cleveland's Kyrie Irving will be presented with the NBA Rookie of the Year award on Tuesday, capping a season which he began as the No. 1 overall pick and ended it as the clear-cut top rookie.
The Cavs sent out a release Monday saying they will make a "major announcement" along with the league on Tuesday morning at Cleveland Clinic Courts, the team's training facility in Independence. The team did not specify what will be announced, but the Associated Press was one of several media outlets to report on Sunday that Irving will win the award.