Funny thing about playing Golden State: we discuss the matter at work, but we never mention the actual game. Instead, we wander around the periphery:
“So, for whom can they [it’s always “they”] trade Draymond Green?”
Came this response:
“They won’t have to. Durant will be a Knick next fall. Count on it.”
You heard it here first, folks. Before any of that happens, though, there’s actual basketball to be played. And the Warriors were somewhat depleted at tip-off: besides Steph Curry (groin strain) and DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles), they were minus, um, Draymond Green, who had a messed-up toe. Meanwhile, the Thunder were depleted during the game, losing Terrance Ferguson to an ankle strain and Hamidou Diallo, who had to be wheeled away following what looked like a knee injury. (Nerlens Noel got scraped fairly badly early on, but was back in a few minutes with five shiny new stitches.) If nothing else, having to watch these incidents emboldened OKC, which held Golden State to 10 points in 10 minutes in the fourth quarter; the Warriors wasted no time throwing in the towel, one they haven’t used much at home this year. Oklahoma City 123, Golden State 95, which I don’t think anyone anticipated.
It helped that the Thunder didn’t play any hero ball: yes, Russell Westbrook got a triple-double, but 11 points/11 rebounds/13 assists is not the sign of a ball hog. Paul George just missed a double-double (25 points/9 boards). Steven Adams? Got another one (20 points/11 rebounds). Jerami Grant? Got his first one of the season (14 points/11 boards). And then there’s Dennis Schröder, off the bench, with, um, 32 points. The man was overdue.
You might think the Thunder did a lot of rebounding, and you would be correct: the board distribution ended up at 60-41. Explains how the Thunder took 21 more shots (103 versus 82). The Warriors were reasonably efficient, with both Durant and Klay Thompson bagging 27 points each, and KD also collecting 14 boards. (Durant was playing the four, with Andre Iguodala starting at the three.) Perhaps most wacky: the Warriors were 7-29 from the three-point circle. (After a slow start, OKC ended up with a respectable 12-33.)
And it’s back home for the holiday. The Hornets will be visiting on Friday; the Nuggets follow on Saturday. (A back-to-back at home? Unheard of.) Wednesday we’ll see the Cavaliers; two nights later, the Hawks. Anything can happen in those four games.