This figured to be a high-scoring game, and Royce Young’s Pregame Primer observed astutely: “The Thunder need to hold [Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis] to something like a combined 12-30 for 40 points and not something like 18-35 for 60.” At the half, it seemed like this was within reach; between the two of them, they’d snarfed about five points. (By coincidence, the Thunder were up five at the time.) This couldn’t last — or could it? The Warriors pulled to within three a couple of times in the fourth quarter, before OKC started pulling away, and when the smoke cleared, the Thunder had run out to a 120-109 win.
Double-doubles all over the Thunder box: Kevin Durant had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Russell Westbrook 28 points and 11 assists, Serge Ibaka 20 points and 12 boards (but not even one block). James Harden started the third quarter, Thabo Sefolosha having messed up one foot; The Beard got 19 points in 35 minutes. Rebounds weren’t even close (53-34).
With Curry and Ellis held to 11-33 for 28 points, other Warriors stepped up. David Lee, always a threat, came up with 19 before fouling out; rookie swingman Klay Thompson led the bench with 14; Dorell Wright made 6 of 9 from three-point range for 23. In fact, Golden State tried a total of 28 treys on the night, making 12. (OKC managed only four of 17.) Nobody really took care of the ball: the Thunder turned it over 22 times, the Warriors 20. And it seemed like the happiest man on the court was Nate Robinson, bought out by the Thunder and then signed by Golden State; he got to play 14 minutes, which he wouldn’t have in Thunder blue, and got nine points, including a crowd-pleasing trey.
Still, here’s your telltale statistic: OKC, 42-88, 47.7 percent; GSW, 41-87, 47.1. The Thunder won this one from the foul line, hitting 32 of 37. (The Warriors went 15-19.)
Next two games are on the road: the Clippers on Monday, the Mavs on Wednesday, followed by one home game (against Memphis) on Thursday — then five more road games, all against the West, and not a pushover (okay, maybe the Kings) in the bunch.