The odds on the Thunder winning this series prior to game one were more than 4-1. Not many people expected the Thunder to compete with the defending champs who had an NBA record 73 regular season wins this year. Despite going down by double figures on several occasions they managed to fight their way back into the game and were able to hold off the Warriors for a 108-102 game one win. Now the pressure will be on the Warriors in Game 2 as they have now lost home court advantage and will need to get a win in game 2 on their home floor.
The Thunder did not have their best offensive game as they struggled to score for several stretches and shot the ball poorly as a team. Kevin Durant, who took almost all of the shots for his team down the stretch, was only 10-30 from the floor. He finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Russell Westbrook also struggled from the field going 7/21. However he was phenomenal in the third quarter finishing with 19 points in the period. He finished with 27 points, 12 assists, and an astounding 7 steals. He forced multiple Stephen Curry turnovers with his aggressive defense and he found open teammates all night long. Steven Adams has been the surprise player for the Thunder all playoffs long and last night was no exception as he finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. To magnify his impact the team was +8 when Westbrook was on the floor, with Adams the team was an incredible +19. Serge Ibaka had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Dion Waiters had 10 points off the bench along with 4 assists.
The Warriors played their usual game on offense but on this night the majestic outside shots didn’t fall as often as they would have liked. Curry went 9/22 from the floor for 26 points. He also had 10 rebounds and 7 assists. Most damaging to his team however was the 7 turnovers, several of which were via careless passes. Klay Thompson was their most consistent performer all night; he finished with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Draymond Green had 23 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Harrison Barnes had 12 points and 5 rebounds. These 4 players accounted for 86 of the teams 102 points with the rest being scattered amongst bench players. The warriors utilized their depth throughout the regular season but have gone to s tighter rotation during these playoffs.
Expect the Warriors to not panic to one bad shooting night. The Thunder also need to realize that they didn’t play their best game on Monday night and were still able to get the win. The Thunder showed a willingness to switch ball screens that resulted with big men often defending Curry. The Warriors will likely work on ways to take advantage of this mismatch. The Thunder now have an opportunity to take a stranglehold of the series while the Warriors will be trying to get back to even ground
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