The Oklahoma City Thunder thumped the Golden State Warriors in a revenge game, 119-98 on Wednesday Night. Five players scored in double-figures in the win. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists, garnering player-of-the-game honors for Oklahoma City. The win gave the Thunder its 22nd win at home this season for a 22-3 home record. The Thunder has averaged 115.5 points per game in its last two victories.
Oklahoma City fell behind early in the game, 8-4 with 9:32 left in the quarter. Soon thereafter, the good guys went on a run and never looked back. A 12-2 run over the next 3:23 gave Oklahoma City the 16-10 lead. The Thunder then closed the first quarter on a 14-3 run, spurred by Serge Ibaka nailing his tenth three pointer on the season. The Thunder led by 12 points after one.
Twelve point lead? More like 20-point lead just like that. Nick Collison hit a turn-around jumper with just over 10 minutes to go in the quarter, giving Oklahoma City the 44-22 lead. The Warriors would try to get back in the game with the three ball, but that didn’t happen tonight. Numerous times the Warriors would nail a couple of threes, then there came Russell Westbrook, Durant or Kevin Martin to find a way to shut it up quickly.
The only bright spot for the Golden State Warriors was in the third quarter. They found a way to shut down the Thunder some, and quickly closed a 20 point OKC lead. The Bay Area team found itself down only 11 points with 4:44 left in the quarter. The Thunder tried to push the lead back out, and did to as much as 16 with 46 seconds left in the quarter. Golden State responded by scoring the last five points of the frame, including one point off a Russell Westbrook technical foul.
With the Thunder up 90-79 going into the fourth quarter, it was second-year point guard, Reggie Jackson, who helped fuel a Thunder blowout. Jackson had six points in the first six minutes of the fourth, pushing Oklahoma City to the 106-87 lead with 6:02 remaining. Jackson, Deandre Liggins and Martin continued to pile on the Warriors, pushing the lead to 117-91 with 2:23 left. The Warriors finally made a mad dash at the end of the game, to no avail.
Keys to the Game
The Thunder forced the Warriors to shoot just 40 percent from the field, despite shooting 50 percent from three-point land. The first half was definitely key, holding Golden State to just 37 percent from the field. The Thunder also held the Warriors to just 3-of-9 from deep in the second half.
Oklahoma City controlled the tempo from the beginning. That was a focal point in the Thunder locker room during pre-game, and boy did it work. Oklahoma City ran the court, but when needed, was able to force the Warriors into a half court game.
Russell Westbrook: B-
Westbrook shot poorly, but was otherwise in control. Outside of his technical foul (I’m okay with this technical foul, he got mugged, officials let it go), he played decent. He wasn’t special, but he did take care of the ball. That’s why we’re not going with just a generic grade here. He had plenty of room for improvement tonight.
- Tonight was a dominating performance from the very beginning. Oklahoma City is averaging 115.5 ppg in its last two home games. That’s really impressive.
- Apparently the Warriors were trash talking and dirty playing at the end of the game says Kevin Martin. Martin credited that to Oklahoma City pushing the lead up to as many as 26 points.
- Oklahoma City improved to 33-3 when scoring 100 points or more. The Thunder lead by 11 after three quarters, much like the game in Oakland in January. Unlike that game, the Thunder closed this one out, improving to a league best 33-2 when leading after three quarters.
- Kendrick Perkins was really impressive tonight. He was able to move without the ball really well, played solid defense and his offense was decent, even for him.
- Durant came out with a mean mug on his face and it showed from the get go. He dropped nine opening quarter points and it led to the Oklahoma City blowout win.
- Really curious why the Warriors had its starters in the game with six minutes to go down 20 points.
- I’m hard on Eric Maynor, but he played decent tonight. Maynor made some nice passes and played solid defense. Maybe he does care?
- When the Warriors made that run in the third quarter, it looked an awfully lot like the games in Oakland and Cleveland. Unlike those games, Oklahoma City closed the game. Something changed, and I like it.
- Hasheem Thabeet continues to impress. He had a monster dunk and played really well on defense. I’m the first to admit I was wrong about this signing, and I bow down to Sam Presti. He’s a solid back up center. That’s all we ever asked of him.
- Good to see the crowd in this game. About time. There are times against playoff caliber teams that the crowd just doesn’t show up. I am glad they finally did. Big props to most of the crowd staying for most of the fourth quarter too.
- Oklahoma City is averaging 23 points on the fast break in the last couple of games. Dang, hard to stop this freight train when it comes down the lane, right?
- Honestly, if Oklahoma City plays like this at home, it’s going to be almost unstoppable come playoff time. I don’t know if any team could stop this Thunder team in the ‘Peake. I mean, it’s happened before, but they surely love playing at this place. Thank goodness.
Next Up: vs. Suns on Friday.