“Daddy, who is number 24?” Mason asked me last night in reference to the sea of purple and yellow Kobe Bryant jerseys roaming around the Ford Center. A few minutes later, Mason, me, and the other eighteen thousand people in attendance were shown, in person, just who number 24 was and what he does. Coming off a decisive win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and last week’s surprise victory over the San Antonio Spurs, there was a buzz in the Ford Center, a little bit of hope that maybe — just maybe — the Thunder had a chance of holding their own against the Lakers.
For the Thunder, it was a Cinderella story come true. Unfortunately it wasn’t the part where Cinderella meets her Fairy Godmother and has her wishes granted, but the part where everybody is mean to her and treats her like the stepchild she is. The Lakers made the first bucket of the game and held on to the lead the entire evening. By the end of the first quarter the team from L.A. had established who was in charge by leading by 17. From there things went downhill, and by half time the Lakers were ahead 62-38.
That’s not to say that the Thunder didn’t have their share of good plays. We had pretty good success with a bounce-pass-to-baseline play multiple times, pulled off several dunks and even handed out a couple of aerial rejections that had the crowd on their feet. Unfortunately, the Lakers had answers to all of those things, and we had none in turn for their starting line up who was able to penetrate our defense with ease, sink free throw after free throw, and, when dared, drop three pointers at will.
Being a school night and with the game well out of hand, Mason and I slipped out in the fourth and beat the parking garage traffic while listening to the final nails being driven into the Thunder’s coffin on the radio. Final score, 89-107, Lakers win.
The highlight of Mason’s night wasn’t the game, but the opportunity to meet all the Thunder Girls and have his game book autographed by them. The highlight of Daddy’s night was taking pictures with his cell phone of this event.