The Oklahoma City Thunder came into this game against the Golden State Warriors on a four game losing streak, lacking defensive consistency, and overwhelmed with fatigue. Tonight however, the Thunder played 48 minutes of winning basketball. Russell Westbrook and Paul George combined for 72 points as the Thunder picked apart the Warriors 125-105. The victory snapped a four game losing streak and was the Thunder's 2nd win over the Warriors this season.
OKC jumped out to a 13-4 advantage and never looked back. Westbrook set the tone offensively, knocking down jumpshots and blowing by Klay Thompson for layups and dunks. He finished the quarter with 21 points. Carmelo Anthony turned his ankle early on in the first quarter and did not return. Despite the loss of Melo, the Thunder still managed to put up 42 first quarter points.
Westbrook was unstoppable in the first, then George came alive in the second. George hit two treys in a row to give the Thunder a 51-32 lead, which capped a 9-2 run to start the quarter. Golden State trimmed the deficit down to 14 thanks to Kevin Durant, but the Thunder led 70-57 at halftime.
In the second half, the Warriors made a quick but short-lived run, which would be their last sign of any life. George and Westbrook turned it up offensively and the Thunder defense continued to give the Warriors trouble. George showed why he is one of the best two-way players in the game tonight. He was disruptive on defense, seeing some of Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson. Offensively, George got into a groove and gave the Warriors all they could handle. The Thunder outscored the Warriors 29-20 in the third and led 99-77.
The Thunder poured it on in the 4th quarter, still ahead by 20. Draymond Green was ejected and the Warriors eventually waved the white flag again, pulling their starters for the night.
Durant was the only consistent offensive piece for the Warriors. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were defended masterfully by the Thunder. They were ran off the line and forced into tough shots and bad passes all night. Curry and Thompson combined for 4-of-15 from the three point line.
The most telling stat from Tuesday night was the Thunder forcing the defending champs to 25 turnovers. The Warriors were also held to just 8-of-28 from beyond the arc. OKC shot 47% and had 14 steals on the night. They led by as many as 24 and dominated the Warriors on both ends of the floor.
Westbrook was remarkable all night, finishing with 34 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists. George had the hot hand as well, finishing with 38 points on 11-of-23 shooting and 6 steals. Steven Adams had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Grant scored 16 points off the bench. Patrick Patterson played a very meaningful 29 minutes in Melo's absence.
Durant led the Warriors with 33 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Curry scored 19 points and Thompson chipped in 12 of his own.
The Thunder's road trip continues on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.