The Lakers reached the end of the road Monday night in Oklahoma City, advancing just one game further than last season in being ousted again in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The Lakers were blown off the court again, losing the battle of fast-break points by a whopping 30-6 margin in losing the game, 106-90. The Thunder swept Dallas, which eliminated the Lakers in the second round last season, and dismissed the Lakers in five games.
"They did a great job of closing games," Lakers coach Mike Brown said of Oklahoma City's players. "At the end of games... they stepped up their physicality. We didn't do a good job of executing."
The Lakers had another light fourth quarter in Game 5, scoring just 13 points and being crushed when Brown tried to rest Kobe Bryant to start the period.
Brown pointed to his big men, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, as letting the Lakers down again.
"Andrew played 34 minutes, and he had four boards and no offensive rebounds," Brown said. "Pau had two offensive rebounds. I know we're asking our bigs to do a lot, but I know for sure we could have gotten more scoring from those two guys in the offensive-rebounding category."