Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/15/12

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The question everyone asked was whether the Oklahoma City Thunder would be rested or rusty.

With eight days off after sweeping the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, no one was sure how such a long layoff would impact the Thunder.

It's pretty safe to say Oklahoma City's rhythm remained right where it needs to be.

The Thunder didn't miss a beat in Game 1 of its Western Conference semifinal series against the Los Angeles Lakers, cruising to a 119-90 win on Monday night in Chesapeake Energy Arena.

By halftime, the outcome was no longer in doubt, and the Thunder extended a 15-point lead at the break to as many as 35 late in the third quarter. With the rout under way, no Thunder starter needed to play a single second in the fourth quarter.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.

Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 27 points and added seven rebounds and nine assists for Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant added 25 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and James Harden finished 17 points off the bench.

Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum scored 20 apiece for the Lakers. Metta World Peace chipped in with 12 points, and Pau Gasol had 10 points and seven rebounds.

The Thunder shot a blistering 53 percent and held the Lakers to 43.2 percent.

Oklahoma City took control by closing the first quarter on a 16-5 run, turning a four-point deficit 6 1/2 minutes in into a 30-23 advantage. Reserve guard Daequan Cook made a buzzer-beating jumper off an inbounds pass for the final margin in the quarter.

The Lakers went on to face a 15-point halftime deficit, as Westbrook, Harden and Durant continued to pour it on. That trio combined for 38 points in the first half, going 14-for-30 from the field.

Los Angeles got solid first-half contributions from its big men, which generally is a good sign for the Lakers. Bynum had a team-high 14 points and led all players with nine rebounds at the break, while Gasol added six points and seven rebounds. Bryant, meanwhile, had 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting.

Oklahoma City capitalized on superb ball security, turning it over only once to lead to two Lakers points and turning eight Los Angeles turnovers into 16 points. That aspect of the game was a chief key for the Thunder entering the series, and Oklahoma City executed it to near perfection in the opening half.

It helped the Thunder shoot 53.3 percent in the first 24 minutes. Oklahoma City also held a 20-2 margin in bench points at the break.

NOTES: Thunder center Kendrick Perkins re-injured his strained right hip muscle while trying to finish a dunk with 10:14 remaining in the third quarter. He was removed from the game and immediately taken to the locker room. He did not return. Perkins had been day-to-day since sustaining the injury on May 5 in the Thunder's closeout game against Dallas. ... Minutes before tip-off, Harden was presented with the Sixth Man of the Year trophy at center court. ... Harden checked into the game for the first time with 4:06 remaining and received a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd. With Metta World Peace on the floor, it was the first time the two shared the court since World Peace delivered a vicious elbow to Harden's head in the last regular-season meeting between the teams. World Peace served a seven-game suspension for his actions.

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