Boy it feels nice to be on the other end of that. After watching it happen four times to us, seeing our guys jump all over each other after the buzzer was pretty stinking nice. Oh, and guess what? Nine baby. Nine.
But dang, what a great game that was. There were 14 ties and 22 lead changes. The first half was played at a hellish pace, with both teams combining for something like 480 points. At halftime I actually had to go towel off. The third quarter slowed down dramatically with Oklahoma City scoring just 17 and Golden State 25. The fourth quarter was all about who could get more stops, grab more rebounds and turn the ball over less. And I guess, who had the ball last. In this case, it was Jeff Green knocking down an awesome jumper as time ran out, lifting the Thunder to a 122-121 win over the Warriors. Woo.
The Thunder three were BIG tonight. I mean big. Russell Westbrook had 30 points and seven assists (20 points in the first half), Green 26 and Kevin Durant 27, 12 boards and five assists. So to spare you from grabbing your calculator, the three combined for 83 points, or 68 percent of OKC’s total points. It was funny that with about a minute left Fox Sports Oklahoma awarded the player(s) of the game to Durant and Westbrook and left Green out. Oops.
A major sequence was the 9-2 run the Thunder had mid-fourth to tie the game at 88-88. The Warriors looked poised to pull away, but OKC (NINE!-34) hung tough and clawed back in it. After taking a four-point lead minutes later, the Thunder dodged a huge bullet as GSW (13-30) got three cracks at the bucket but came up empty and OKC closed winning the quarter 33-26. Those type of things weren’t going the Thunder’s way when they were losing the close ones. Now, they’re learning how to scrape and claw and fight and win.
Check out some of these stats from tonight: OKC played at a ridiculous pace (98.0) and had an offensive efficiency of 124.5. Conversely, Golden State had an offensive efficiency of 123.5. OKC shot 49.4 percent from the field on 85 shots and GSW hit 52 percent on 75 shots. Some may disagree, but to me, it wasn’t about bad defense tonight. It was just about really, really good offense coupled with a fast game. And for another double-take stat of the game, OKC took 33 free throws and hit 30 and GSW took 40 (!) and missed just two — but none bigger than C.J. Watson’s with about a minute left. Remember when the Thunder were hitting just 60 percent of their free throws and losing games by seven? Yeah, that would’ve been the case again tonight if they didn’t hit 91 percent. Nice work guys. Keep Reading…