The Golden State Warriors responded to their series-opening loss with an all-out drubbing of the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 118-91 in Game 2, tying the series at 1-1 as the teams head to Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game 3 (Sunday, 5 p.m. EST) and Game 4 (Tuesday, 6 p.m. EST).
Game 2 between the Warriors and Thunder picked up just where the last meeting left off with both teams playing at a very high level and finding ways to respond to each run by the other.
Kevin Durant was absolutely phenomenal for the Thunder once again in the first half. Durant scored 23 points on 9-13 from the field and grabbed four rebounds and a steal. Golden State may have a ton of perimeter options to throw at him defensively, but Durant was scoring at will on Wednesday night. Following a 10-30 shooting night in the series opener, the Thunder coaching staff deserves credit for finding sets and plays to make things easier for Durant, who should get a nod for simply making shots that wouldn’t fall the previous game. He does need to cut back on his turnovers, finishing with a game-high eight.
A Draymond Green driving layup over the outstretched arms of Steven Adams gave the Warriors a 41-36 advantage just before the midway point in the second quarter. Russell Westbrook appeared to be relatively quiet in the first half as Durant paced much of the action, but he did have nine points and eight assists during the first 24 minutes of the game. His find of Dion Waiters for a three-pointer along the baseline gave OKC its first lead (47-46) of the contest with two minutes left in the second quarter.
A nine-point spree by Andre Iguodala in the second and a Klay Thompson three-pointer helped the Warriors regain control of the game (57-49) as Golden State finished the half on an 8-0 run.
Adams was able to get things going in the second half with a couple early buckets, but the Warriors responded with a Harrison Barnes three and a 16-point run by Stephen Curry to extend the lead to 79-61. Curry may very well still be something less than 100 percent in terms of his health, but runs like that are precisely what make him so tough. He ended up with 17 points in the quarter, but also looked to attack and facilitate once he got going. It truly becomes a choice of picking your poison after those runs, as the threat of Curry’s shot-making combined with his handles and willingness to create for others really opens the entire floor for his teammates.
Final damage from Stephen Curry's third quarter burst: 17 points on 5-for-8 & 3-for-4 from deep. Warriors +15 in 3rd w/ him on court…
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 19, 2016
Durant had been phenomenal in the first half, but neither he nor Westbrook were able to produce in the third quarter and the Warriors took a 20-point lead (88-68) heading into the fourth quarter. Durant did finish with 29 points on 11-18 from the field (along with the aforementioned eight turnovers), but the Thunder couldn’t quite match the energy Golden State brought across the board in a game the Warriors absolutely needed to win.
Game 3 Prediction: The Thunder may be heading to OKC with home-court advantage in the series, but they know as well as anyone else these Warriors can also return the favor on the road. Westbrook and Durant can be counted upon for their general greatness, but the Thunder will need tremendous efforts from their supporting cast (once again) in order to maintain the home-court over the next couple games. We believe the Warriors keep the momentum going and increase the pressure on OKC by taking Game 3 on the road.
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