Thunder Claim Game One In Golden State
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook don't care if the Warriors are the defending NBA Champs. They don't care that Steph Curry is the reigning MVP either.
The Thunder only care about reaching the NBA Finals, and they took the first step to get there in Game One of the Western Conference Finals in Golden State.
The 108-102 victory set the tone for what should be a wild series, and OKC took one from the Warriors in one of the hardest places to win on the road, Oracle Arena. Westbrook only had three points at halftime, and the Thunder trailed by 14 points. Luckily for the Thunder, the game isn't determined at halftime.
Westbrook scored 19 of his 27 points in the third quarter, and he added 12 assists and six rebounds. His disruptive defense led to seven steals and seven turnovers from Curry, and he said there was a simple difference when his team flipped the switch.
"Composure. Been there before. It's a game of two halves," Westbrook told TNT's Craig Sager after the game. "Our job is to, like I said before, stay in attack mode."
When Westbrook is in attack mode, there's no stopping him. His running mate, Durant, posted 26 points and 10 rebounds, and OKC even got a double-double from Steven Adams in the post.
Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson combined for 74 points, but the Warriors lost the rebounding battle, 52-44, and they turned the ball over 14 times. The fans at Oracle kept waiting for Golden State to come back, but the Thunder held them off at the end.
Durant's jumper in Andre Iguodala's face to put OKC up 105-100 was the dagger, then the officials iced it when they didn't blow the whistle on a traveling call against Westbrook with Golden State down, 105-102. From that point on, the Thunder hit their free throws and stole Game One.
The Thunder comeback happened in a hurry, and Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr wasn't pleased with his team's response.
"Careless passes, [we] didn't have the flow to whatever set we were running," Kerr said about the second half. He added, "I just felt like we took way too many quick ones that took us out of our rhythm."
Now OKC has a 1-0 series lead, and they got Game One on the road in Golden State in their pocket. For Westbrook, Durant and Head Coach Billy Donovan, this is the best case scenario. On top of that, they punched the champs in the chin. If the Warriors want to prove they're not "soft," they need to respond with an uppercut of their own to defend their belt.
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