The Oklahoma City Thunder came into tonight's matchup against the Golden State Warriors with two decisive victories over the defending champs, but tonight the Warriors responded with a 112-80 pounding of the Thunder.
In the first quarter, the Thunder and Warriors struggled to find much offense, as both teams were playing outstanding defense. The Thunder were defending the three-point line, switching screens, and making it tough for Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant to find any openings to create. Offensively, the Thunder were not able to capitalize off of pick-and-rolls, and their jumpshots were not falling. The score was knotted at 13 with four minutes remaining, but the Warriors closed out the quarter on a 11-5 run. Russell Westbrook and Paul George both had trouble finding space and were forced into contested shots. Carmelo Anthony has made a living off making tough shots, so he was able to get a few to go.
In the second quarter, The Warriors started to figure out how the Thunder was defending them so well, and they began to slip the pin-down screens to get easy layups. The layups made the Thunder have to adjust to pay more attention to defending the basket, which opened up the three point line for Durant and Curry. The score was knotted at 39 with two minutes left when the three-point barrage began, Durant nailed two treys and Curry hit one. The Warriors once again closed out the quarter on a high note, outscoring the Thunder 13-6, and leading 52-45 at halftime.
The Thunder started the second half on a 11-4 run to tie the game at 56. They got the ball in the paint for dunks from Steven Adams and Josh Huestis, and Melo hit a jumpshot and a three. The Thunder took the lead after a three from George, then the Warriors avalanche began. OKC did a great job avoiding the outburst from the Warriors in the first two meetings but tonight the defending champs were on a different level. The Warriors outscored the Thunder 25-7, Durant and Curry began picking the Thunder defense apart, and the Thunder was held scoreless for the final four minutes of the quarter. The Warriors led 84-66 after three quarters.
The Warriors poured it on as the fourth quarter began, Nick Young got hot from beyond the arc and really broke this game open. The Thunder defense seemed handcuffed and the Warriors continued to layups and open threes. A three from Klay Thompson made the 99-73 with 6 minutes remaining and the Thunder waved the white flag. The Warriors walked away with a convincing 112-80 victory.
The Thunder had a night to forget offensively, shooting only 33% from the field, and only hit 9 threes in 34 attempts. The Thunder gave up 47% shooting from the field and 17 threes to the Warriors. The Warriors also won the rebound battle 54-43, dished out 36 assists, and scored 36 points in the paint.
Westbrook had a night of inefficiency with 15 points (4-of-15), 12 rebounds, and 7 assists. Melo put up 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting, only hitting one three in five attempts. George had a horrendous night, only scoring 5 points (1-of-14 shooting, 1-of-9 from the three point line), after averaging 29 points in the previous two meetings.
Durant led the Warriors with 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting. Curry scored 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. Young chipped in 16 points off the bench. Thompson scored 11 and Green put in 10.
The Thunder return to action on Monday night back in Oklahoma City against the Orlando Magic.