The Thunder lost 130-114 to the Warriors tonight, in what will most likely be the most talked about game of the NBA season. This game had everything that a “big game” needs. It had the national media in town from everywhere, it had the rivalry on the court, and it definitely had the rivalry between fan bases. The game certainly lived up to the hype in just about every aspect.
Oklahoma City got off to a great start and led for a majority of the first quarter. The crowd was electric, and the team seemed to be feeding off of that on the defensive side of the ball. The Thunder led by two points when Westbrook took a seat in the first, and they trailed by fifteen when he returned in the second quarter. The defensive pressure for the Thunder disappeared during the second quarter giving the Warriors a 73-50 lead at halftime.
As a team, the Thunder had a better second half, but it wasn’t nearly enough to pull out the victory. Golden State was able to score at will, and the Thunder simply couldn’t keep up. The offense for Oklahoma City wasn’t bad, but you can’t win a game when you give up 130 points in regulation. The game stayed entertaining throughout, and I don’t expect the fourth and final meeting between these teams to be any different on March 20th.
Westbrook Does All He Can
Regardless of the outcome on the scoreboard, it doesn’t take away from what Westbrook did on the floor tonight. He finished the game with 47 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. His relentless effort put Oklahoma City in a position to win the game, however the help was never there from his teammates. He finished the night shooting over 50%, but only 30% from beyond the arc. While he wasn’t able to get a win for the Thunder, the crowd certainly had his back. There should be no doubt in anyones mind that Oklahoma City loves Russell Westbrook. He went head to head with rival Kevin Durant, and the crowd loved every moment of it.
OKC Fans Create Amazing Atmosphere
The people of Oklahoma City certainly did their part tonight. Fans showed up wearing all kinds of T-Shirts that took shots at former Thunder player Kevin Durant. The countless amount of “Snake” and “Cupcake” signs throughout the crowd created an awesome environment. The fans were on their feet from the very beginning, and boo’d every time Durant caught the ball. The atmosphere in the Peake was far better than any playoff game I have ever attended. The fans certainly brought it for all 48 minutes, and never relented on the boo’s for the Warriors.
When the time on the clock finally expired and the Thunder had suffered a 16 point loss, something incredible happened. The fans stood to their feet and gave the team a standing ovation. I have never personally seen a home crowd do that. I would say it is pretty rare actually. There is no doubt that the people of Oklahoma City love this team and are super thankful for the loyalty of Russell Westbrook.
On To The Next One
The Thunder will be back in action on Monday night as they go on the road to take on the Washington Wizards. The game will start at 7:00 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK and TNT. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.