With Kevin Durant not playing Saturday night, the stage was set for the Oklahoma City Thunder to steal a win against Golden State. The Warriors still had the ‘Splash Brothers’ and DeMarcus Cousins to deal with. But with Durant not in the lineup, the job would definitely be easier.
As it turns out, it wasn’t easy at all. Golden State didn’t need Durant to dominate the Thunder in a 110-88 blowout.
The outcome looked pretty clear from the start as the Warriors got out to a 13-point lead after the first quarter, 40-27. Oklahoma City continued to struggle shooting the ball in the second but did play better defense. Going into halftime, the Warriors led 64-46.
Locked in for 48 minutes.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 17, 2019
The Thunder came out much more competitive in the third quarter, but they were not able to gain much ground. Going into the fourth quarter, the Warriors were up by 16 points, 87-71.
Oklahoma City got as close as 14-points in the fourth, but never really threatened to take the lead.
Steph Curry led the way for the Warriors with 33 points despite not having a great night from the floor (10-23; 5-12 from three-point range). Klay Thompson didn’t have a great night from the floor either (9-21 from the floor; 3-8 from three-point range) but scored 23 points.
DeMarcus Cousins contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
But what was most impressive about Golden State’s game was their defense. While Paul George had a decent night overall with 29 points and 13 rebounds, he was just 9-25 from the floor. Russell Westbrook was practically taken out of the game scoring just seven points while shooting 2-16 from the floor and 0-7 from three-point range.
As a team, the Thunder shot just 32.3 percent from the field and just 31.7 percent from three-point range.
With the win, the Warriors became the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a playoff berth. They will face another tough team when they visit the Spurs in San Antonio Monday night.
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) March 17, 2019
The loss drops the Thunder a game and a half behind the Houston Rockets for the No. 3 seed and a half game back of the Trail Blazers for the No. 4 seed. They will do their best to gain some ground when they host the Miami Heat Monday night.
But they will not have Westbrook available. Since he got his 16th technical foul Saturday night, he will have to serve a one-game suspension.