Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder 100 – Warriors 121 | Rapid Recap

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The Thunder dropped their second game in a row 121-100 tonight on the road against Golden State. Oklahoma City came out with a lot more intensity after coming out flat against the Clippers on Monday night, but it quickly faded due to the streaky shooting of the Warriors. Russell Westbrook came out looking to facilitate, and the Thunder were able to hang around in the first half because of it. After trailing multiple times and even taking the lead at certain points, the score was tied heading into halftime.

Oklahoma City was not able to keep up with the shooting pace of the Warriors right from the start of the second half. The Warriors were able to come up with huge stops, score effectively in transition, and knock down their open shots from beyond the arc. The scoreboard quickly changed in favor of Golden State, and the Thunder were never able to recover. The Warriors went on to hold a double-digit lead throughout the remainder of the game.

Warriors’ Hot Shooting Too Much To Handle

The Thunder was able to hang with the Warriors throughout the first half, and that was largely due to the fact that they were knocking down the open looks from beyond the arc. The entire team did a great job at creating open looks for each other which provided high quality shots. However, the Thunder were not able to continue this throughout the rest of the game. The Warriors made great defensive adjustments and Oklahoma City never recovered.

The Warriors shot well throughout the entire game, but caught fire during the third quarter. Kevin Durant, who finished with 40 points, led the way for Golden State, and had a monster third quarter that essentially put the game out of reach. In order to beat the Warriors, you have to manage the streaky shooting that this team has. Once they got going and the crowd got involved, the Thunder stood no chance. The best way to manage their shooting is by having quality offensive possessions and knocking down open looks, and Oklahoma City could not do that.

Steven Adams is Missed

Despite the Thunder’s consistent domination this season in the paint, it was clear that the absence of Steven Adams made things much more difficult to get things going offensively down low. Golden State outscored the Thunder 56-46 in points in the paint for basically no other reason than the Warriors just have too many capable weapons to spread the floor.

Enes Kanter had a solid night offensively putting up 22 points on 11/16 (61.1%) from the floor to go with 9 rebounds. Kanter has continued to put up solid numbers, but with no Adams to help control the interior defensively, the Thunder really struggled to win the battle in the paint.

Russ Grabs Yet Another Triple-Double

While Russell Westbrook would much rather get a team win than pick up any kind of individual achievement, he played a decent game in which he put up his 21st triple-double of the season. Westbrook scored 27 points on a poor 8/23 (34.8%) shooting night, but he also grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out 13 assists.

Russ took a hard hit to the face from Warriors Center Zaza Pachulia right before halftime, and while Russ did not see it, Pachulia stood over him as if he were some type of tough guy. Russ had some words to say about it after the game:

While nobody but Westbrook knows exactly what he intends to do, one thing is a fact: February 11th in Oklahoma City should make for an interesting game.

Thunder Get a Break

After playing four games in six days, Oklahoma City gets a much needed four-day break before playing the Jazz in Utah on Monday, January 23rd. In the only meeting with the Jazz so far this season, Oklahoma City fell to Utah 89-109 in the Thunder’s second consecutive game with Victor Oladipo out due to a wrist injury. Tip-off on Monday is set for 8PM CST and will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on WWLS 98.1 FM.

Article written by Craig Hofeld and Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram. 

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