BOX SCORE | SHOT CHARTS
The Oklahoma City Thunder (42-28) was absolutely blitzed on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, falling to the Golden State Warriors (47-21) by a final score of 110-88. Despite the Warriors being without Kevin Durant (ankle), they shot 7-of-11 from downtown in the first quarter to build a 13-point lead after one. While I love to sit here and count the Thunder fought back and made it interesting, unfortunately that would be a lie. After a 3-3 tie just 43 seconds into the game, it was all Golden State from that point forward. They led by wire-to-wire and by as many as 22 points to take the season series by a final tally of 2-1.
The Warriors were led by Steph Curry's 33 points on 10-of-23 shooting (5 / 12 3P), and 23 points on 9-of-21 shooting from Klay Thompson. Paul George led the way for OKC with 29 points (9/25 FG, 4/12 3P) and 13 rebounds, but Russell Westbrook struggled mightily throughout. The former MVP shot just 2-of-16 from the floor, finishing his night with seven points, eight rebounds, nine assists, and his 16th technical foul of the season – earning him a one-game suspension for Monday's home tilt against the Miami Heat should not be rescinded by the league.
Yes, it was that sort of night in Oklahoma City.
One of Nights . Despite the pre-game excitement and national TV audience, this game was a complete and total bust for anyone cheering on the thunder. The warriors offense was humming early, building a 13-point lead after one quarter of play thanks to a blistering hot 7-of-11 clip from long range. From that point on it was nothing more than routine decimation. Here are the numbers:
|Team||FT%||3P%||FT%||REB||AST||STL||TO||PTS OFF TO|
|OKC||32.3||31.7||56.5 [19659021 16|
Bad Russ . All of Westbrook's recent offensive momentum came to a screeching halt in this one, as he shot just 2-of-16 from the floor (0/7 3P) for a grand total of seven points. Though he added eight rebounds and nine assists, there is no sugarcoating – the Brodie was bad. Here's a look at his shot chart:
Westbrook's only success came at the rim, so it's only right at the top of his night taking shots from every other location on the floor. In fairness, it's tough to blame any one player when the entire team was clearly outmatched from the moment the ball went up. Perhaps more importantly, however…
Technical Number 16 . Westbrook was whistled for his 16th technical foul of the season in the second quarter, getting upset by a missed foul call on Klay Thompson…. then just went and did something that, uh, was not very smart:
While the technical could be rescinded by the league, not so certain this one will – if only because it's tough to show leniency to a guy that already has 15 of these calls against him. Should it be up, Westbrook will be forced to sit out Monday's game against the Miami Heat. Really not what the Thunder needs right now, but such is life, I guess. He's been playing with fire on this front for too long. Tell him to calm down but I'm afraid of him.
PG . 29 points (9/25 FG, 4/12 3P) and 13 rebounds for George – not his worst night. However, he shot 1-of-5 while the Thunder were falling into a 13-point first quarter hole, which was never going to cut it with Westbrook not making his first field goal until the 8:20 mark of the third quarter (Russ started 0/8). The final stat line is fine, even if the shooting wasn't where you'd like to see it. But let's be clear – this is not a good night for anyone. George did not step up and did enough to keep the thunder in the early.
Dennis & the Others . Dennis Schroder was the only semi-bright spot in this one, scoring 15 points (10 in the first half) on 6-of-14 shooting off the bench. Jerami Grant added 11 points but shot just 4-of-11. Steven Adams was nearly non-existent, putting up nine points and nine rebounds and getting outplayed by DeMarcus Cousins (who finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks).
. The Thunder has lost every game since adding that Love's Travel Stop patch to their jerseys. I'm not saying, I'm just saying. At the very least, it's far too yellow.
The Standings . The Thunder fall to fifth with the loss – Trailing fourth placed Portland by a half game. The sixth placed spurs are just behind the game, with Utah trailing by 1.5 games.
Last Word . I mean… what are you going to do? The Warriors were 5-5 over their last 10 games coming into tonight, without Kevin Durant, and the Thunder had a great opportunity to knock off the Western Conference's top team. What happened on Saturday night in Oklahoma City was the opposite of that – which will happen. You'd prefer it to a rival on national television, but sometimes teams get embarrassed. The Thunder were certainly embarrassed tonight.
However, in the grand scheme of things, it's just one game – one game against a very good opponent. Westbrook won't play like this this very often (some will argue, that's fine), and how the team responds now is more important than dropping this one. Twelve regular season games remain (perhaps 11 featuring Westbrook) and the Thunder still control their own destiny in the West. Home court advantage is still on the table… but they'll have to be much better than anything happened tonight.