The Oklahoma City Thunder have, as is commonly said in a series of this nature, drawn first blood against the Golden State Warriors in the West Finals. Overcoming a 60-47 deficit at the half, the Thunder snagged Game 1 with a 108-102 win.
Here’s an astonishing statistic to chew on – Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 17-51 shooting yet still won Game 1 on the road. That’s a bit ominous for Golden State, although overreacting here isn’t necessary.
Oklahoma City shot 43.8 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from the floor with 11 turnovers, most of them early. Golden State went 44 percent from the field and 36.7 percent on triples. They had 14 turnovers, 7 of which were from the MVP, Stephen Curry.
Here are a couple other statistics that contributed to this Game 1 result – even though Klay Thompson and Curry combined for 51 points, it took them a collective 47 shots to get there. Not exactly their usual efficient style.
What’s more, while one can fairly state Durant and Westbrook had horrible shooting games, it was a massive Westbrook third quarter and a late Durant jumper that helped seal this result.
A pivotal moment late was when Westbrook blatantly traveled as OKC had the ball up by three. His pivot foot slid, without exaggeration, about a foot. It wasn’t called. Naturally, the Warriors can only blame themselves and the Thunder deserve major props for this win, but it’s unacceptable that a professional referee (looking at you, Monty McCutchen) would miss a call that a sports-hating child without a shred of basketball knowledge could’ve sensed.
I’m not sure one can ever call a game an upset when the winning team includes Durant and Westbrook, but this was surprising. The Warriors had rest for the first time in a considerable period and rarely allow opposing teams to assert its will in Oakland. That happened in Game 1, and the result is a 1-0 series lead for the Thunder.
Game 2 will be Wednesday, 5/18 at 9:00 PM ET.
|9:00 PM ET, May 16, 2016
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California Attendance: 19,596
|N. Collison||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|N. Mohammed||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|A. Morrow||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|C. Payne||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|K. Singler||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|J. Huestis||DNP — INACTIVE|
|M. McGary||DNP — INACTIVE|
|I. Clark||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|B. Rush||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|A. Varejao||DNP — COACH’S DECISION|
|K. Looney||DNP — INACTIVE|
|J. McAdoo||DNP — INACTIVE|
Officials: Monty McCutchen, Derrick Stafford, Tom Washington
Time of Game: 2:33