Thunder Overwhelmed By Warriors Again

By Randy Renner, Senior Writer

The Thunder started with a sizzle, hitting four of their first six shots to lead 8-3, then quickly fizzled at both ends of the floor.

A 27-8 Warriors run early in the 2nd quarter turned a 25-25 tie into a 52-33 Golden State lead giving the visitors all the cushion they’d need en route to a 111-95 win to sweep the four game series.

OKC could never get going offensively and after a good start on defense, limiting Golden State to 34.6 percent shooting in the 1st quarter, the Thunder couldn’t stop the Warriors in the 2nd quarter and couldn’t score either.

“You know I thought our missing shots there in the 2nd quarter kinda bled over into our offense,” said Thunder head coach Billy Donovan.

Golden State shot a whopping 63.2 percent in the 2nd quarter overall and 57.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Thunder fell to the other end of spectrum, hitting just 28.6 percent of their shots.

“Nothing on the offensive end was working for us,” Donovan said. “Some shots that had been falling for us recently weren’t tonight.”

Oklahoma City shot just 42.5 percent overall. During their five game winning streak the Thunder were hitting just shy of 50 percent of their shots. They’d been hitting almost 45 percent of their threes during the streak but they fell back to earth with a thud against the Warriors managing to hit just 19.0 percent (4-for-21).

The shooting woes extended to free throws too. OKC has struggled from the stripe much of the season but tonight it was much worse than it’s been as the Thunder were a pathetic 17-for-31 at the stripe (54.8 percent).

Russell Westbrook ended his night early, not playing at all in the 4th quarter. He finished with 15 points on 4-for-16 shooting (1-for-6 on threes), eight rebounds, seven assists and one big technical foul.

Westbrook and Semaj Christon got into a shoving match with Steph Curry and Draymond Green late in the 2nd quarter and the skirmish resulted in technicals for all four. For Westbrook it is his 15th “T” of the season, one more and he earns an automatic one game suspension.

“Russell knows what he needs to do and how he needs to handle himself,” Donovan said, seemingly not too concerned that he could lose his best player at some point before the end of the season.

The Thunder struggled to contain Curry and Klay Thompson who each drained seven 3-pointers. Thompson led all scorers with 34 points and Curry had 23.

The Thunder came into this last regular season matchup with the Warriors with a lot of optimism, riding a five game winning streak and playing their best ball of the season. While Golden State had gone just 6-5 since Kevin Durant had been injured and at times had looked dazed and confused.

No matter.

Everything the Warriors had been struggling with lately they excelled at tonight and everything the Thunder had done so well in their winning streak disappeared.

“I look at it as just one game,” Donovan said. “We’ve gotta get back to practice and get ready for Philly.”

The 76ers will be in here for a Wednesday night game, then the Thunder head to Houston for a Sunday afternoon date with James Harden and the Rockets.