W. Bennett Berry
The Thunder avenge another early season loss, defeating the Warriors 119-98
The Oklahoma City Thunder improve to 37-12 on the season and 22-3 at home after defeating the Golden State Warriors 119-98.
The Thunder were down early, but then went on a 10-2 run midway through the first and never looked back. OKC expanded that lead to 20 early in the second and went into halftime with a 67-49.
Golden State slowly chipped away at the lead in the third and entered the fourth down 11, before beginning the fourth on fire and got the lead back to 20 in just a few minutes and cruised to their second straight blowout.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
The Thunder proved once again tonight that when they are firing on all cylinders they are nearly impossible to beat. OKC had 5 players in double figures, including Reggie Jackson, who had a career high 12 points. For the second straight game the Thunder cleared their bench midway through the fourth, and we're always glad to see that.
One disappointing this from this game is it appears DeAndre Liggins has worked his way out of the regular rotation, as he only got scrub minutes tonight. The Thunder relied on his defense when Thabo was injured earlier and the year and Liggins appeared to nice up and coming prospect. It may still be the case but for now it looks as if Brooks has sent him farther down the bench.
What is the main reason why the Thunder won?
The Warriors may have planned this to be a scheduled loss, it's the second of a back-to-back on the road, and as a result both Andrew Bogut and Jarrett Jack did not play tonight. Without their starting center and sixth man, the A and B teams for the Warriors struggled to find any sort of rhythm on either side of the floor. As a result the Thunder had about a 10% higher FG shooting percentage.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
The Thunder forced Golden State to commit 19 turnovers on the night, which was caused in part by the disrupted lineup for the Warriors. The Warriors had no one that could run the second team offense. Without Bogut, their first team struggled to get rebounds. OKC starters outrebounded Golden State 37-29, something we are not used to seeing.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder play their next two games against the struggling Phoenix Suns. OKC is four games away from the All-Star break and it's important to end this mid-season stretch strongly for playoff positioning. The Thunder still remain a game behind the Spurs for the top spot in the NBA, but only by 1 game. As OKC learned last season, every game counts, so we hope they will be attentive in not giving any away as the intensity rises.
Thunder Wonder: Russell Westbrook, 22 points, 5 assists.
Thunder Down Under: Kendrick Perkinds, 6 points, 11 rebounds
Thunder Blunder: None
Thunder Plunderer: Stephen Curry, 14 points, 11 Assists, 8 Rebounds
Next game: vs. Phoenix Suns, on Friday Febuary 8th @ 7 CDT
If you are looking for tickets to upcoming games, you can find Oklahoma City Thunder tickets here.