May 16, 2016, 11:13 pm
Round three of the NBA playoffs kicked off on Monday night with an entertaining battle between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. All eyes would be on the marquee match between superstar point guards Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook. If the Thunder expected to have any shot at dethroning the reigning Western Conference champions they would need to steal a game on the road. Could Westbrook and Co. outlast the Dubs? Let’s take a look at your daily dish.
THUNDER 108, WARRIORS 102
It’s a shame that this will only be a best of seven series because these two teams have provided highlight reel moments all season long in their head to head matchups. Monday night was no different. The Thunder stormed back from a 14 point deficit to steal Game 1 from the Warriors on the road. The Warriors were limited to 42 points in the second half en route to only their third home loss this season.
Russell Westbrook was the difference maker in this one. Westbrook shot 1-of-11 in the first half for an underwhelming three points. But that all changed in the third quarter as Westbrook exploded for 19 points in that quarter alone. He ended the night with a game-high 27 points on 7-of-21 shooting and 11-of-14 from the line. In typical Westbrook fashion he stuffed his line with 12 assists, six rebounds and an incredible seven steals.
Kevin Durant did not have the greatest of shooting nights hitting only 10-of-30 from the field, but was able to contribute 26 points nonetheless. Durant added 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block in a game-high 45 minutes of action.
The front-court duo of Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka both played over 35 minutes and contributed double-doubles in the Thunder win. Ibaka scored 11 points with 11 rebounds and one block, but that block was an incredible one on Klay Thompson as he attempted to dunk the ball on an open court run. Steven Adams scored 16 points with 12 rebounds and two blocks and added some key free throws down the stretch to ensure a Thunder victory.
The Thunder have come to play and while we do expect the Warriors to bounce back in Game 2 on Wednesday night, it would not be a total shock to see Game 2 go down to the wire.
The Dubs were led by the back-court duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Curry scored a team-high 26 points on a disappointing 9-of-22 shooting. He added six treys with 10 rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Thompson scored 25 points on 11-of-25 shooting while adding nine rebounds and four assists. Steph and Klay will need to shoot better than 18-of-47 in order for the Warriors to tie up this series on Wednesday night.
Draymond Green chipped in with 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting. He only added five rebounds, four assists, one steal and two blocks and we say only because we have been spoiled by some of the lines that Draymond has produced during these playoffs.
Although the Thunder stole Game 1 tonight, the duo of Durant and Westbrook will need to shoot better than the 17-of-51 if they want to have a realistic chance of winning this series.
The Warriors received absolutely zero production from the five-spot tonight as Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights combined for four points, six rebounds and two blocks. The Warriors were outrebounded 52–44 tonight and it clearly hampered them in the second half when the Thunder took control of the game.
Although most analysts predicted a Spurs-Warriors Western Conference final, it is safe to say that there is minimal disappointment with this current matchup. The Warriors won the season series 3-0 but anyone who watched those games saw that the Thunder had the potential to keep up with Golden State’s electric offense. Game 2 goes Wednesday night back at Oracle arena and we will wait on the edge of our seats for Curry vs. Westbrook round 2.