By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
The Thunder didn’t really care about making a statement in Game 3. They primarily just wanted to play better, clean up the things that went wrong in Game 2 and get a win.
But a statement was made and it was heard loud and clear.
When the Thunder play at the top of their game there may not be a team on the planet that can handle them and they played at the top of their game Sunday night in blowing out the defending NBA Champion Warriors 133-105.
“We had a lot of different guys step up and contribute,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan told reporters.
The two biggest were of course Kevin Durant (33 points) and Russell Westbrook (30 points). But Serge Ibaka dropped in 14, Dion Waiters had highlight play after highlight play and scored 13, so did Andre Roberson who had three 3s.
And for the second straight game Steven Adams got kicked in the, uh, kiwis we’ll say, and again it was Draymond Green who delivered the blow.
Thunder players thought it was intentional.
“That’s two times in the last two games,” Westbrook said, “I don’t think you can keep kicking somebody in their private areas.”
Green said he honestly didn’t mean to kick Adams where no man wants to be kicked.
“I was following a shot,” he told reporters in the Warriors’ lockerroom. “I wasn’t trying to kick somebody in the mens section. I brought the ball over the top, he fouled me, my leg went up. I know my core’s not strong enough to stop my leg halfway up. I honestly didn’t know I hit him.”
Replays appeared to show otherwise. Green had already lost the ball and both his feet were planted on the court when he jumped up flailed his arms and kicked out with his right leg delivering a solid blow to Adams.
In Game 2 it was a knee that Green brought up into Adams’ groin, in Game 3 a full-on kick so Adams was dubious of Green’s explanation that it was purely accidental.
“I mean it’s happened before mate,” Adams told a scrum of reporters at his locker. “And he’s pretty accurate there.”
Adams wouldn’t get into whether the NBA should upgrade Green’s Flagrant Foul 1 to a 2 and suspend him for Game 4.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr actually thought the opposite should happen.
“I would think they’d rescind it...no, honestly,” he added when met with surprised looks from the media. “Stuff like that happens all the time. Westbrook kicks out his feet on every three and there is contact, I mean that’s just part of the game.”
And Kerr’s right, some guys, Westbrook included will kick their legs out a little on 3-pointers but seldom does that happen down in the post and it’s even more rare that a guy will high kick like a Thundergirl as Green appeared to do.
Never-the-less Kerr stuck to his guns.
“I don’t understand how it can be deemed a flagrant 1, I think it should be rescinded.”
Moments later Donovan weighed in.
“I’m not here to say whether it was or was not intentional. I don’t know. But obviously it’s happened in the last two games and that’s something the league will take a look at.”
And the NBA will consider past incidents involving Green and past incidents and punishments given to players in the past for similar fouls.
A decision is expected today and if Green is suspended for Game 4 that could even more dramatically tilt this series in the Thunder’s favor.
If he’s not...then Adams might want to invest in those steel cups baseball catchers wear to protect their manhood and maybe next time Green comes in with a kick he’ll be the one that feels some pain.