This, I think, summed up the entire four-game series:
Golden State never needed KD. They just needed OKC to not have him.
— Carey Murdock (@CareyWWLS) March 21, 2017
And this game was in doubt for maybe the first twelve minutes, but no longer: the Warriors doubled up on the Thunder 34-17 in the second quarter and kept a double-digit margin, usually a substantial one, until everything dissolved into the bleakness of a 111-95 final. The Thunder couldn’t hit the three-pointers, but then they could barely hit the two- pointers. Then again, OKC had five in double figures, led by, um, Victor Oladipo with 17; the Warriors had only three, but Klay Thompson hung around long enough to collect 34, and Steph Curry bagged 23. Both of those guys hit seven treys; the Thunder in aggregate made only four.
The game had its absurd moments, most notably a second-quarter dustup that resulted in quadruple technicals. (I am not making this up. Ticketed: Curry, allegedly the instigator; Russell Westbrook; Semaj Christon; Draymond Green.) Westbrook didn’t even come close to a double-double, let alone a triple. (Enes Kanter had the only double-double on either side: 15 points, 10 rebounds.) Golden State had a smallish 46-40 edge in rebounds, a bigger one — 28-18 — in assists, and were at least marginally acceptable at the free-throw line, collecting 16 of 21. The Thunder had no trouble getting to the line, the Warriors’ reputation for Never Ever Fouling notwithstanding, but it didn’t make much difference, as they missed 14 of 31.
Twelve games to go and 40-30. Now what? OKC probably can’t really aspire to a finish much higher than fifth or sixth. The Grizzlies, also 40-30, got to that point by winning four straight. It’s highly unlikely the Thunder will slump their way out of the playoffs entirely. The next game, against the 76ers, should come close to icing that playoff spot.