Warriors get Punched in the Mouth, Lose to OKC 108-91
The Golden State Warriors (13-4) finished off their road trip against the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder (7-9). In the offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in an attempt to keep up with the super teams that sit atop the Western Conference. To this point, the accusations have not made the team significantly better, and the Thunder were looking to right the ship against the Warriors. The Warriors were looking to dominate the Thunder like they did four times last season. The Thunder would go on to beat the Warriors, 108-91.
The Warriors’ first quarter was one of their sloppiest quarters of the season. The Warriors committed six turnovers, most of which came on passes down low to Zaza Pachulia and Kevon Looney. The passes to big men down low resulted in more turnovers than points. The Warriors offense was below average to start the game, shooting 36.4% from the field. The Thunder’s offense consisted primarily of their big three, with them combining for 27 of the team's’ 33 points. The Warriors defense wasn’t great to begin the quarter, and they were still figuring out their rotations for guarding the Thunders’ big three. Stephen Curry lead the Warriors in scoring with eight points. The Thunder led after the first quarter, 33-26.
The second quarter was more of the game was more of the same from the Warriors, they say their shooting percentage rise to 41.9%, but they were only shooting 31.2% from deep. At the half, the Warriors had committed 10 turnovers, and they were all pretty bad turnovers. The Warriors looked like they were trying to force passes, and often threw them too hard or too high. While the Warriors were very sloppy, the Thunder relied on their big three to keep them ahead. The trio of Carmelo, Russell Westbrook, and Paul George combined for 50 of the team’s 65 points. As a team, the Thunder shot 52.1%, much higher than their season average of 44.3%. Russell Westbrook was leading the Thunder in basically all offensive categories, with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. The Warriors’ leading scorer was Kevin Durant with 14 points. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green combined to go 1-11 with only 2 points in the first half. Going into halftime, the Thunder led the Warriors 65-48.
The Warriors strategy of turning the ball over more often than they breathe did not work in the third quarter. The Warriors finished the quarter with 16 turnovers, which equaled the amount of assists they had, so that wasn’t great. The Warriors continued to shoot poorly, which can be attributed to not only missing open shots (especially with Draymond and Klay), but also because they were getting mauled below the basket. Guys like Andre Iguodala and Omri Casspi routinely passed up big shots only to drive to the hoop and attempt to kick it out, but ended up turning the ball over. Russell Westbrook exploded in the quarter, and heading into the fourth, he scowled his way to 33 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. The Thunder’s big three combined for 70 of the teams 94 points. The Thunder led after three quarters, 94-71.
The fourth quarter saw no change from the rest of the game. The Thunder continued to shoot well, and ended the game shooting 45.6%, and the fourth quarter saw the Thunder run out the clock against the Warriors’ bench. The Warriors ended the game shooting 41.2% from the field, which included an abysmal 32.3% from three. Only three Warriors scored more than 11 points, KD, Steph, and Omri Casspi. The Thunder won the game, 108-91.
The Thunder came out and played an emotional game, and while the Warriors play with a lot of emotion, they still try and play their style of basketball every night. Tonight, they did not play their style of basketball, and tried to play with their emotions instead of their skills. Some of the more emotional Warriors had terrible games, and I think that shows how the demeanor of the team was different during this matchup. Draymond Green, the team’s emotional leader, was atrocious, shooting 1-6, while only grabbing four rebounds and turning the ball over twice. Andre Iguodala also had a bad game, passing up open shot after open shot to instead drive to the hoop and dish it out, and because of that, he ended the game with three turnovers, which is incredibly irregular for him. Klay Thompson was clearly still thinking about New York City scaffolding, as he went 3-12 with only 9 points.
The only Warriors with decent games were Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Omri Casspi, but even their decent night scoring the basketball was negated by their turnovers. Steph committed six turnovers, and Kevin Durant committed four. The turnovers were a huge problem for the Warriors all night, as they finished the night with 22 turnovers, which equaled the number of assists the team had. On any night, if you turn the ball over as often or more times than you get assists, you are going to lose, badly. The Thunder capitalized on the turnovers, as any time the Warriors were able to get a little momentum going, the Thunder would pick up a turnover, and either allow Russell Westbrook to throw down a dunk, or allow a transition three to Paul George or Carmelo Anthony.
At the end of the day, it’s just one game in the middle of November, and the Warriors are bound to lose a couple games. This game just got out of hand quickly, and the Warriors clearly just wanted to get back to the Bay.
The leading scorer for the game was Russell Westbrook, who scored 34 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 9 assists. The Warriors’ leading scorer was Stephen Curry, who had 24 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 turnovers.
The Warriors play next on Friday, November 24, in Oakland against the Chicago Bulls at 7:30 p.m.