Terrible 2nd Quarter Dooms Thunder
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
That’s pretty much what did it.
For 34 of the Thunder’s 48 minute game with the Golden State Warriors Thursday night the visitors from Oklahoma City outscored the home team 84-75.
But during the last couple minutes of the 1st quarter and all of the 2nd the Thunder couldn’t do anything right and the Warriors couldn’t do anything wrong.
Golden State, led by a 24-point explosion by Kevin Durant, outscored the Thunder 47-12 during that 14 minute span and cruised to a 122-96 win.
"We had good ball movement and player movement, and we were sound offensively. Then we went through a really bad lull offensively in that second quarter," head coach Billy Donovan told reporters after the game. "That probably hurt us, then the fact that they shot it so well from behind the line, and they hurt us on the offensive glass."
“Bad lull,” hardly describes what went on, more like scorched earth annihilation.
In those 14 minutes the Thunder hit a microscopic 12.9 percent of their shots (4-for-31) while the Warriors were going 15-for-28 (53.6 percent) overall and 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) on threes.
“We gave up some threes in transition and we gave up some threes on second-chance points,” Donovan pointed out. “And I thought the difference in the game was the fact that they were shooting right at 50 percent from three at the half and they had 12 offensive rebounds.”
For the first 10 minutes of the game everything went about as good as it could. The Thunder had jumped to a double digit lead thanks mostly to a big time 2-man game between Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams. Adams scored nine points in the first quarter on 4-for-5 shooting.
The big man was whistled for two quick fouls within 30 seconds of each other late in the 1st quarter which seemed to stall the OKC offense and ignite the Warriors. With Adams out, Golden State went on a 12-3 run to finish the first 12 minutes and things kept going into the ditch for the Thunder.
The Thunder were in a tough spot anyway, playing the second night of a road back-to-back that began with an 85-83 grind it out win over the LA Clippers.
“We’re good, it’s one game,” Westbrook said in the lockerroom. “We’re okay, we’re 4-1, it’s just one game and we play again on Saturday…so simple as that.”
Westbrook finished with 20 points on just 4-for-15 shooting, six rebounds, 10 assists and six turnovers. Victor Oladipo led OKC with 21 points, Domantas Sabonis had 13 on 6-for-12 shooting and Adams finished with 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
Durant finished the night with a game-high 39 points while dropping seven 3-balls.
Much of the media and fan interest was focused on the interaction between Westbrook and Durant and the rest of KD’s former Thunder teammates.
Backup center Enes Kanter chirped so much at Durant from the Thunder bench that Adams had to reach over and tap him on the knee to quiet things.
Westbrook and Durant did not appear to say anything to each other before or after the game.
“Naw,” Westbrook confirmed in the lockerroom. “When I get on the court I don’t talk to anybody but my teammates.”
How about before the game in chapel Westbrook was asked.
“No, I don’t talk to nobody at chapel. I listen to the word and I get back to the lockerroom.”
To end the session another reporter asked Westbrook if he expected to talk to Durant after the game.
“I expect to get on the plane, go home, go lay in my bed and get ready for Saturday.”
That’s when the Thunder will be back in action, hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves in an unusual 5 o’clock tip time at The Peake.