Warriors get Throttled by OKC, Lose 125-105
After falling to the Denver Nuggets on the second night of a dreadful back-to-back, the Golden State Warriors (41-11) flew back home to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (30-24) for the second time this year. This matchup would be interesting because Kevin Durant has had some of his biggest games as a Warrior against the Thunder at home, and the Warriors have not lost back-to-back games this year. Both teams were struggling heading into this game, the Thunder had lost four straight, while the Warriors had lost two of their last three games. The Warriors would not only be looking to bounce back after the Denver loss, but also avenge their loss to the Thunder earlier this year. The Thunder would go on to beat the Warriors 125-105.
In the first quarter, the Thunder jumped out to a hot start thanks to some defense from Paul George and their ability to have a large australian man be good at grabbing rebounds on terrible shots from Carmelo Anthony. The Warriors looked slow out of the gate and were trying to force a lot of passes to guys. They were being too cute, which has been an issue in recent weeks. The Thunder jumped out to a 10-point lead with 4:31 left in the quarter, and they got even better as the quarter went on. They put up 42 points on the back of Russell Westbrook, who had 21 points in the quarter while going 9/11 from the field. He also threw down a nice dunk and scowled, which, isn’t my thing, but here’s a link. The Warriors were led by Kevin Durant, who had 17 points, three of which came on a filthy pull-up three. Stephen Curry was the next highest scorer with seven points, and he made a deep three to try and right the ship for the Warriors. The story of the quarter was Westbrook, but the reason he was able to thrive was because the Warriors turned the ball over six times, and were defending him with Pat McCaw and Kevon Looney, who couldn’t stop him even if they tried. The Thunder also outrebounded the Warriors, and took a lot more shots than them. After the first, the Thunder led 42-30.
The second quarter got off to a rough start for the Warriors, as their second unit was unable to get any good looks in the first four minutes, managing to score just two points. Their defense wasn’t half bad in those four minutes though, as they held the Thunder to three points. As the quarter continued, the Warriors continued to play poorly. Their lineup that featured four guys who have no interest in shooting whatsoever and Klay Thompson was a complete failure on the offensive end. The Warriors had scored just 10 points in nearly eight minutes of action in the second quarter, while they continued to let the Thunder manhandle them on both ends. With 4:37 left in the half, the Thunder had a 19 point lead. The Warriors then managed to cut into the deficit a little bit as the half came to a close. Klay Thompson hit a couple threes and Kevin Durant was able to find the free throw line, but the game was still not looking good for the Warriors. Russell Westbrook was slowed down a little bit, but still finished the half with 27 points. Kevin Durant still was leading the Warriors with 24 points on just 5/8 shooting. The low shot attempt numbers were a universal problem for the Warriors, who spent most of their offensive possessions turning the ball over or giving the ball to players who are reluctant to shoot. The Warriors also just gave no effort on the glass, and it felt like they allowed the Thunder to grab offensive rebounds whenever they wanted them, and it wasn’t even just because that they are good at that. Steven Adams only played five minutes and other guys were able to pick up the slack on the offensive glass. The Warriors managed to turn the ball over 12 times, which was a result of them trying to be too cute with their passes instead of being aggressive and attempting to shoot. The turnovers allowed for the Thunder to score easy points in transition, and allowed for them to shoot the ball 12 more times than the Warriors. As a team, the Thunder were shooting 52.8%, while the Warriors were shooting 46.3%. The Warriors’ poor shooting was a result of having guys who are reluctant to shoot handle the ball more than they should, and having players getting mauled on their shots without fouls being called. At the half, the Thunder led the Warriors 70-57.
The third quarter saw the Warriors shamelessly continue to turn the ball over and suck at nearly everything possible on a basketball court. They allowed Paul George to come alive and he ended the third quarter with 27 points, many of which came on very impressive shots, or annoying shots, depending on how you look at it. He hit a stepback three on Kevin Durant, and then proceeded to murder Zaza Pachulia on a dunk. Kevin Durant was still the only Warrior who did anything productive at all on the offensive end. He had 33 points as the third quarter ended. Steph was the next highest scorer with 17. The Warriors had 20 turnovers heading into the third quarter, so that was pretty annoying. The Thunder had taken 17 more shots than the Warriors as the fourth quarter ended, primarily because of those turnovers. Russell Westbrook also slipped on his own shoe at one point and it was called a foul on the Warriors because, why not? After the third, the Thunder led 99-77.
In the fourth quarter, nothing changed. The Warriors were still bad, still avoiding shooting like it was the plague, and still turned the ball over like they got pleasure from doing it. Draymond Green was so fed up with the officiating and play in the game that he picked up his second technical foul by throwing the ball towards an official and was ejected. He had a big smile on his face as he was ejected though, it’ll make a nice gif, so that’s one positive that came out of this game. The thunder just continued to manhandle the Warriors and they won the game 125-105.
This game sucked. The Warriors lost their first back-to-back games of the year, and they looked bad doing it. There isn’t much to say about this game to be honest. It was frustrating to watch. The Warriors turned the ball over 20+ times, they looked sloppy and were stifled by the OKC defense. I don’t really want to talk about this game, as I am sure you can tell at this point. You can probably sense the frustration and irritation through the words on this page. In the end, this is just one game in February.
Now, I do have some issues with the team at this point, but it’s not worth getting frustrated about right now. Our bench sucks, the passing is way too sloppy recently, and I think that the All Star break will help to fix some of the sloppiness and lethargy from recent games, but I am still worried about our bench.
Sorry, there’s no next-level analysis (not that there is any normally) tonight from me, I am just too annoyed. This game doesn’t change my outlook on the playoff picture or the OKC situation, the game was just annoying and frustrating to watch.
Some notable performances in this game came from Russell Westbrook, who had 34 points, grabbed 9 rebounds, and dished out 9 assists. He did not record a triple-double, so did the Thunder really beat the Warriors? Did they really win? Paul George had 38 points on 11/23 shooting. The Warriors only had one good performer, and it was Kevin Durant. He finished with 33 points on 8/14 shooting. As a team, the Warriors turned the ball over 25 times, and when that happens, they’ll lose 9,999 times out of 10,000.
The Warriors play next on Thursday, February 8, at home against the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m.