NBA wrap: Lakers walk into Thunder storm

In Boston, the 76ers clung on to level their Eastern Conference semis against the Celtics at 1-1.

YouTube Credit: zikica97

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER took the ascendancy in their NBA play-off series with the LA Lakers, kicking things off with a 29-point win on Monday.

In the opening game of their best-of-seven Western Conference semi-final series, the Thunder were brilliantly led by their stars Russell Westbrook (27 points, nine assists) and Kevin Durant (25 points) as they cruised to a 119-90 triumph.

Oklahoma played like a team that had enjoyed every moment of their seven-day break, a gap that came by virtue of their 4-0 thumping of the Dallas Mavericks in their quarter-final series.

The Lakers, by contrast, were forced to go to the well in their quarter-final series, eventually overcoming the Denver Nuggets 4-3 courtesy of a 96-87 victory on Saturday night, and they looked like a tired team.

Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum scored 20 points apiece for the Lakers, who will need to find some spark before Game 2, again in Oklahoma, on Wednesday.

YouTube Credit: zikica97

In Monday’s other game, the Philadelphia 76ers held off a strong finish from the Boston Celtics before posting an 82-81 win to level their Eastern Conference semi-final series at 1-1.

Evan Turner scored a lay-up with 40 seconds left to put the 76ers in front, and they managed to hold on for the win despite being outscored 32-25 in the final term.

Jrue Holiday was the 76ers best, scoring 18 points, while Ray Allen led Boston with 17.

The series now switches to Philadelphia for games three and four.

Katie Taylor moves one step closer to London

In the swing: Matt finish at Sawgrass no more than Kuchar deserved