The Golden State Warriors took their fourth consecutive loss to a strong Oklahoma City Thunder effort, falling 123-95 in Oakland. The Warriors were slowly choked out by a suffocating OKC defense, and were powerless to stop the Thunder’s multifaceted offense. Although the team missed Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, the team still could have been more competitive. The Thunder weren’t having it tonight.
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both scored 27 points a piece, but had to work very hard for looks at the basket. Durant added 14 rebounds and 3 blocks, yet added a grisly 6 turnovers as he tried to force the ball to teammates.
Dennis Schroder torched the champs for 32 points off of the bench, Paul George added 25 points, and three other Thunder starters had double-doubles in points and rebounds.
Immediately, the Thunder showed an interesting game-plan, taking turns attempting to use inexperienced Warriors center Damian Jones as a traffic cone in the paint. Steven Adams routinely pivoted around or bullied through Jones early in the first quarter.
On the other end, Durant and Thompson aggressively took turns attempting to solve the daunting OKC defense, Thompson attempting to get his off of screens, while Durant worked in some iso. It felt like 1990’s basketball, as neither team could get out in transition, and each team found their offenses stagnating into jab steps and fadeaway jumpers.
The first three made by either team came with under a minute left in the quarter when PG13 BANKED ONE IN.
After 1Q in Oakland: Thunder 23, @warriors 18.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) November 22, 2018
18 is lowest-scoring Q1 of season.
Durant 10 (4-9 FG)
Thompson 6 (3-7 FG)
FG pct: GSW 34.8, OKC 37.9
The numbers suggest great defense. The numbers lie. Neither team is playing sharp hoops.
Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson left with an ankle injury, and Nerlens Noel left with a facial injury. Thompson came out in second quarter and activated Microwave Mode.
The rope began slipping away though after Thompson picked up his third foul. The Warriors offense completely stalled out trying to force feed Durant the ball. This predictable strategy led to OKC getting deflections and steals and running the way other way for easy buckets.
Durant tallied 14 points and 8 rebounds after two quarters on 6-of-12 shooting, but clanged on all three of his three-pointers. Thompson added 14 points of his own, as well as strong defense that contributed to holding Westbrook to 5 points of 2-of-9 shooting from the field.
Unfortunately, Adams was big bodying his way through every Warrior in sight for 16 points, and George slithered his way to 13 points of his own. The Oakland fans groans grew louder and louder with each brain fart and miscue from the home team. The Dubs had 10 turnovers and 11 assists in the first half, while OKC only lost the ball 4 times and dished out 14 assists.
Thunder 60, Warriors 46
The Warriors defense came out energized, swarming and trapping. They closed the gap to single digits, but couldn’t get over the hump after Thompson picked up his 4th foul midway through the quarter. Soon, spacing issues and crippling turnovers allowed OKC to keep a strong grip on their lead. Also, Thunder guard Dennis Schroder was killing them.
In the fourth quarter, Schroder took over the game with Westbrook cheering from the bench. He was hitting from long range, or slicing and dicing the Dubs’ interior defense at will.
Sadly, Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo took a nasty fall with Jonas Jerebko and suffered what appeared to be a major leg injury. Gameplay stopped for an extended amount of time as Diallo writhed in pain.
Warriors fans give Diallo a nice standing ovation as he's stretchered off the floor.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 22, 2018
After that, the vibe in the building went completely dead. The Thunder continued to pour it on the shorthanded champs, scoring at will while the Warriors disintegrated on both ends.
Damian Jones had 0 rebounds in 21 minutes, while the Thunder crushed the champs for a 61-42 rebounding advantage. The Warriors shot 43% from the field, and only made 7-of-29 three-pointers (24%).
The Thunder pretty much ran roughshod over the Dubs in every major statistical category tonight.
The Warriors' seventh loss, by season, in the Steve Kerr era— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 22, 2018
2014-15: January 27th
2015-16: March 19th (absurd)
2016-17: January 23rd
2017-18: December 23rd
2018-19: November 21st (tonight)
Clearly this team has no idea how to win without Curry and Green. I’m ready for Thanksgiving, where I can eat some curry and greens.