Golden State got off to a strong start in the first half, building a 14-point lead just past the halfway point in the second quarter. However, the Warriors defensive struggles reemerged in the second and third quarters, allowing the Thunder to claw their way back.
Emerging superstar guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did an impressive job Lu Dort slow down Steph Curry defensively. On the other end, Andrew Wiggins was the only defender able to put some lid on SGA, who recorded 37 points, 5, rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and a block.
Former Santa Clara star Jalen Williams was the Thunder’s second-most impactful player, scoring 28 points on 12-for-15 shooting from the field.
The Warriors offense did not struggle with shooting efficiency on Friday night. Instead, it was a cavalcade of turnovers. Golden State committed 28 turnovers over the course of the game. While the Thunder’s rotation of young, lengthy, and athletic players surely played some role, there were plenty of sloppy passes, poor decisions, and moving screens that were unforced errors.
The Thunder built a seven-point lead late in the third quarter. However, for the second consecutive game, Jonathan Kuminga led a second half charge. Kuminga scored 7 points in just over three minutes of action, leading a 17-8 run to start the fourth. He finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Both teams exchanged the lead several times in the final minutes, with the Thunder leading 114-113 in the final minute. Curry, though, found an angle to the rim and converted an and-one.
Gilgeous-Alexander tied things up with a midrange fadeaway. The Warriors had an opportunity for a two-for-one opportunity, but chose to be patient. Curry faced off against Dort on the right wing. Curry dribbled toward the hoop to his left, forcing Dort back, before stepping back into a three.
Nothing but net.
Despite his early struggles, Curry came alive late in the fourth quarter and overtime. He finished the game with 34 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field. Of course, there should have never been overtime.
Ahead by three, all the Warriors needed to do was avoid fouling someone attempting a three-point shot. Instead, Draymond Green was too aggressive trying to steak the in-bound pass and left Chet Holmgren enough time to get into an upward motion. Holmgren made all three free-throws, tying things up at 118.
That left the Warriors the ball with 7.7 seconds left in regulation. The Dubs got the ball into Steph, who faced up against Dort, but was unable to generate the same amount of space and missed an attempt that would have won the game.
The younger Thunder took advantage of their youth in overtime. With Curry the only Warriors starter left able to generate any offense, Golden State fell into an early hole. Kuminga and Brandin Podziemski eventually offered a spark off the bench, and Curry once again knocked down some incredible shots, but it was too little, too late.