First, let’s get this out of the way:
Update from Warriors shootaround: Kevin Durant will not play tonight in OKC.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 16, 2019
Durant’s absence, however, did not create any opportunities for the Thunder, who could barely buy a bucket most of the night. And if the Warriors had a weak spot, OKC was not able to find it. Golden State rolled up 40 points in the first quarter, after which the Thunder defense was occasionally visible; still, halfway through the fourth, the Warriors were up 17, and a couple minutes later, the benches were emptied. When the smoke cleared, it was Golden State 110, Oklahoma City 88, and radio guy Matt Pinto had an interesting statistic to toss in: during Durant’s three seasons in Oakland, the Warriors have played 30 games in which Steph Curry played and Durant didn’t — and their record for those 30 games is 26-4.
Other numbers of note:
32.3: the Thunder’s shooting percentage tonight, a season low. (88 points is also a season low.)
10: the number of points OKC left at the charity stripe, shooting 13-23.
16: the number of technical fouls called this season on Russell Westbrook, which unless rescinded will get him a one-game suspension.
Speaking of Westbrook, his line tonight was 7-8-9; he went 2-16 from the field, 0-7 from outside. Paul George delivered a double-double, 29-13, despite having Andre Iguodala breathing down his neck. (Hey, it could have been Durant.) Steph Curry was happy to drop in 33 points, and Klay Thompson tacked on 23 more.
And that’s the end of the season series, with Golden State winning 2-1. (Who knows what the playoffs may bring?) Monday brings the Miami Heat, who are actually better on the road (16-16) than they are at home (16-20). We note in passing that three of the 16 playoff slots have now been claimed: the Warriors in the West, Milwaukee and Toronto in the East. The Thunder have dropped to fifth in the West, one game up on the Spurs, who have won eight straight, including tonight’s tussle with Portland. Next for San Antonio: Golden State. It’s almost enough to make you root for the Spurs.