Kevin Durant's return to Oklahoma City inspired a chorus of derisive chants and boos, but ultimately OKC fell to the Golden State Warriors 130-114.
Overall, it was a festive night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Unfortunately, however, the object of Thunder Nation's ire also spearheaded a second-quarter charge that placed the contest out of Oklahoma City's competitive grasp.
During Golden State's 43-26 burst, Durant overcame early nerves to score 11 of his team-high 34 points.
Though Russell Westbrook (47 points, 11 rebs, eight assists, 11 turnovers) Victor Oladipo (20), and Steven Adams (13) fought to maintain a semblance of hope, OKC was outgunned by an offensively-dominant Golden State squad.
Warrior All Stars Stephen Curry (26 pts, nine assts, eight rebs) and Klay Thompson (26) teamed with JaVale McGee (16) and Draymond Green (eight assists) to claim a 3-0 seasonal advantage over Oklahoma City.
Outside of Westbrook, Oladipo, and Adams the Thunder gained just 34 points (11-of-33 FGM) from its other nine players to log minutes.
With the loss, Oklahoma City drops to 31-24 on the season. The Thunder is 8-8 in its last sixteen contests. Meanwhile, Golden State improves to an NBA-best 46-8.
- Bench Production: Thunder reserves shot a scant 5-of-17 on the evening.
- Turnovers: Russell Westbrook was visibly shaken early, committing seven of his eleven turnovers in the first half. Collectively, Oklahoma City turned the ball over nineteen times.
- Oklahoma City’s second-quarter collapse: The Thunder surrendered 43 points, 16-22 FG, and five three-pointers in an ill-fated second-frame.
- Steven Adams’ foul shooting: Adams’ charity-stripe struggles continued with a 1-of-6 performance vs. Golden State.
- Fast-break defense: The Thunder was outscored 21-7 on the break.
- Three-Point attempts: Instead of playing to strengths, OKC took 24 shots from deep, making just six. This strategic miscalculation enhanced the Warriors’ transition dominance.
- Russell Westbrook’s shooting and scoring output: Westbrook finished with a strong 53/30/88 split in gaining his 47 points.
- Westbrook/Oladipo’s combined play: OKC’s potent backcourt again functioned well as a unit. The duo finished the night with 67 points on 23-of-41 makes.
- Andre Roberson’s third-quarter tussle with Durant: Face-to-face with Durant, Roberson showed the heart that has endeared him to Thunder Nation. It was nice to see signs of life from Russ’ supporting cast —even while losing handily.
- Thunder third quarter: OKC outscored Golden State 37-32 in the penultimate frame — and 64-57 in the second half. Again, kudos to Oklahoma City for not folding after being over-matched in the first half.
Star of the Show
The Oklahoma City Thunder fan: K.D.’s former supporters let their new rival know exactly what they think of him; and it was at times hilarious. Highlighting the night was the endless cupcake references.
With this memorable show now in the books, Oklahoma City next takes the court Monday evening at 8 PM ET against the steam-rolling Wizards from the Verizon Center.