Posted on February 25, 2018, by Travis Pulver
The last two time the Oklahoma City Thunder faced the Golden State Warriors, Thunder fans were quite happy with what they saw. But Saturday night, there wasn’t much of anything for Thunder fans to be happy about. Golden State fans, on the other hand, were ecstatic. Not only did their Warriors win, but they also clobbered the Thunder and won by 32 points, 112-80.
However, the game didn’t start out as blowout despite the Thunder’s struggles in the first quarter.
Solid defensive play on their part kept Golden State offense from getting on track. But the Thunder couldn’t buy a basket in the first (6-28). So, after the first quarter, the Warriors were up 24-19. Things went a little better for the Thunder in the second. But they were still outscored by the Warriors, who extended their lead to seven points, 52-45, by halftime.
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A seven-point lead is not too hard to overcome. This is especially true when you have the kind of offensive firepower that the Thunder have. But on this night, the firepower was quiet. Their defense kept them in the game for the first few minutes of the third quarter. They even took a brief lead, 59-56, about four minutes into the quarter.
Then Golden State did what Golden State does. A 14-0 over the last four minutes of the quarter saw the Warriors extend their lead to 84-66 heading into the fourth—where things didn’t get any better for the Thunder.
Golden State outscore Oklahoma City with ease over the final 12 minutes (28-14) to make the final score 112-80.
“We’re champions. We’re 46-14, and we’ve got one of the best road records in the league,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant said after the game (ESPN). “We’ve been doing this the last two years. We’ve got to be us.”
Durant ended up leading the way for the Warriors with 28 points followed by Steph Curry with 21 points. Klay Thompson chipped in 11 and Draymond Green added ten.
Oklahoma City’s night on offense started rough and never got any better. Paul George didn’t make his first (and only) basket until the third quarter. But it wasn’t like Carmelo Anthony, or Russell Westbrook played any better; Antony made six shots and Westbrook four.
The Thunder’s big three ended up hitting just 11 of 46 shots on the night for a total of 34 points. Oklahoma City head coach Billy Donovan talked about George’s struggles after the game (ESPN):
“He’s played at such a high level offensively for such a long time, a night like tonight’s going to happen.”
Oklahoma City will try to get back on the right side of the scoreboard when they face the Orlando Magic Monday night. Golden State will try to keep the good times rolling when they travel to New York to take on the Knick, also on Monday night.
Like any other game between these two, this one had its fair share of drama. The most significant involved Warriors center Zaza Pachulia and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. During the third quarter, Westbrook went down after getting tangled up with Nick Young, but then for some reason. Pachulia falls as well.
But he appeared to be targeting Westbrook’s leg when he did.
Anyone want to explain what Zaza Pachulia is doing here? pic.twitter.com/FiK1gTlr5T
— Derek Peterson (@DrPetey15) February 25, 2018
“Obviously it was intentional. He fell over my leg. He tried to hurt me,” Westbrook said after the game (ESPN).
Pachulia responded to Westbrook’s claim with this (ESPN): “No comment. That’s childish. Come on. I’m not responding to that.”
It would be surprising if the league were to take any action, but the whole mess will help make the next time these two teams play must-see television.