The Oklahoma City Thunder have defeated the Golden State Warriors in game 3, 133-105. Following a game 2 loss which led many to think OKC had little chance of pulling out the series, the Thunder responded with their most impressive win of the playoffs. They now take a 2-1 series lead into game 4 on Tuesday night.
How did it happen?
Three Andre Roberson threes!
30-plus points from Kevin Durant AND Russell Westbrook!
Enes Kanter double-double!
Dion Waiters raising the roof!
The Return of Serge Ibaka!
Holy **** that was fun!
The Oklahoma City Thunder were hitting on all cylinders in their Game 3 rout of the Golden State Warriors. After a high-scoring first quarter, which the Thunder led 34-28, it looked like we were finally going to get the shootout we expected of this series. However, the OKC defense had something to say about that.
The Warriors only scored 19 points in the second quarter as the heavy pressure, physical defense, and switching on all screens made Golden State look like a run of the mill NBA team. On the other end, the Thunder attack didn't slow down a single bit. They doubled up the Warriors and put 38 points on the board as they cruised to a 72-47 lead at halftime--including a 21-5 run in the final five minutes of the half.
Kevin Durant once again had a 23-point first half, but even more important than that, he didn't commit a turnover until 40 seconds left in the second quarter. Russell Westbrook chipped in 16 points and seven assists of his own too.
This was a great game for Serge Ibaka. He finished with a team-high +42 and looked as close to the 2012 version of himself than I've seen all season; seriously that dunk in the first quarter to push the lead to 30-18 is something I haven't seen out of Serge in years.
His play on the glass (eight rebounds) and shooting (6/13 from the floor including 2/5 from three) and casually added two blocks as well. Ibaka's strong play on both ends of the floor allowed the Thunder to do the unthinkable: go small. The Westbrook-Dion Waiters-Andre Roberson-KD-Ibaka lineup was the difference as all five of those players finished with a plus/minus over 30.
As amazing as the first half was and how forgettable the second half seemed to be there was one eye-popping stat to come out of the third quarter: OKC scored 45 points in the third. No that isn't a typo. The Thunder scored FORTY FIVE points in a single quarter, and they did it when the Warriors were fighting for their final chance to make it a competitive game.
While it's hard not to be on cloud nine until Tuesday, remember that the Warriors have not lost back-to-back all season. Game 4 will be pivotal for both teams. Game 1 we got pretty bland performances from both teams. Game 2 we saw peak Golden State. Tonight we saw peak Oklahoma City. The Thunder are hanging with what has long been considered as the best team in NBA history and are only two games away from the NBA Finals. This is going to be fun.