FINAL: And that's all from Chesapeake Energy Arena. 133-105, Thunder. The crowd is mostly still all in the joint chanting "O-K-C!" This is a city and team vying to be historically awesome if it knocks off the Warriors in this series. OKC now leads the Best of Seven 2-1 and Game 4 will be Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time on TNT. Thank you for choosing VAVEL for your commentary. Brett David Roberts, signing out, have a great evening everyone!
4th Quarter (Under 1 minute): Speights can really run the court for a bigger dude. But only when it comes to running back for scoring opportunities. The guy just will not miss a chance to get a shot up. All of that applies to his teammate Leandro Barbosa too. They are on the right team. —OKC 133, GSW 105
4th Quarter (1:42): The Thunder only played nine players in this game, but six of them have scored in double figures. Great team effort from OKC. The Thunder are starting to look like a club come of age, which is strange considering they missed the postseason just last year. —OKC 129, GSW 99
4th Quarter (3:33): Golden State has not lost two games in a row so TNT color commentators are saying they will bounce back. It seems like it is expected that a 73-win team cannot just fold up and go home, but the way the Thunder are playing it is hard to imagine anything changing. If OKC comes out and hands the Warriors its second-straight loss in Game 4, it will be excruciatingly difficult for the Thunder to come back down 3-1. —OKC 129, GSW 99
4th Quarter (3:45): It is good to get a nice look at rookie Cameron Payne in NBA action. His alma mater, Murray State, is less than an hour away from yours truly. Just so you know. —OKC 129, GSW 96
4th Quarter (4:09): Randy Foye just barrelled towards the hoop on a drive and looked just like Russell Westbrook. Until the missed layup that is. —OKC 127, GSW 96
4th Quarter (5:06): Randy Foye just pushed off and buried a jumper, a-la-Jordan over Bryon Russell—BUT IT WAS FOYE. So: offensive foul. —OKC 125, GSW 93
4th Quarter (5:54): Harrison Barnes knocked down an 18-footer. He is the only starter on the court for either team and apparently some of it has to do with letting him establish some sort of rhythm he can build on. He is 3 of 8 from the field for seven points. But Barnes has no assists or rebounds at all. Mid-quarter timeout. —OKC 125, GSW 91
4th Quarter (7:14): Russell Westbrook's younger sibling is going to be playing football for the Oklahoma Sooners in the fall. It does not seem like long ago that he was a pre-teen. Time passes so funny. Oh, there's a game on too. Enes Kanter is stat padding. —OKC 123, GSW 87
4th Quarter (8:53): OKC's Kyle Singler checking in signals that officially no one cares about this game. The commentary will not cease. —OKC 119, GSW 85
4th Quarter (9:56): I have never seen anyone who had as much trouble as Enes Kanter does at keeping one eye on his man and one on the ball. I know that is literally impossible, but you get my point. He has no idea how to split the middle ground and keep his eye on his man. It is really comical. —OKC 119, GSW 85
4th Quarter (10:46): Marreese Speights banged a long three. As much as Speights likes to shoot, it probably does not matter much to him how meaningless the game is at this juncture. Timeout on the floor—OKC 117, GSW 83
End of 3rd: Curry's Plus-Minus for the game is -39. And that's not even the worst: Draymond Green is -43. —OKC 117, GSW 80
End of 3rd: Golden State is shooting 40 percent from the field and 28 percent from three. This is just something we do not see. OKC has willed itself to a nice advantage in this series with what will be a 2-1 lead and maintained home court advantage (stolen by winning Game 1). —OKC 117, GSW 80
End of 3rd: OKC is in command of this one. We'll continue commentary throughout what should be an utterly meaningless fourth quarter. But hey, commentary can be pretty entertaining in blowouts too. Trust me. It can. —OKC 117, GSW 80
3rd Quarter (Under 1 minute): Scratch that last statement, sort of. There are no Warriors starters on the court but the Dubs are not going quietly into that good night. I guess. —OKC 115, GSW 76
3rd Quarter (1:29): Steve Kerr still has not pulled the plug. —OKC 111, GSW 72
3rd Quarter (2:56): Dion Waiters knocked down a triple and is 6 of 8 for 13 points off the Thunder bench. —OKC 105, GSW 68
3rd Quarter (3:35): Andre Roberson checked out of the game to a nice ovation. He has 13 points, six rebounds and an assist on the night. —OKC 102, GSW 66
3rd Quarter (3:35): As bad as the Warriors currently look, it is hard to wrap one's mind around the fact this could be the first time all season they have lost back-to-back games if they drop game 4. Westbrook pushes it hard back in transition to draw yet two more free throws. OKC has shot 29 free throws on the night before this pair. —OKC 100, GSW 66
3rd Quarter (4:15): The Warriors starting frontcourt is just 3 of 18 from the field. Draymond Green is 1 of 9. Curry canned a triple to force this timeout by OKC, but Curry is just 3 of 11 from three-point range in this one.—OKC 97, GSW 66
3rd Quarter (4:58) - Andre Roberson hit his second three. Again: If the Thunder are going to lack a third wheel with Durant and Westbrook, everyone has to step up. Everyone currently is doing just that. —OKC 95, GSW 60
3rd Quarter (5:41)- Stephen Curry launched a 30 foot three, but what was unique is how the Thunder just kind of let him. Timeout Warriors.—OKC 92, GSW 59
3rd Quarter (6:59)- Kevin Durant just blocked his third shot and it led to an easy Westbrook bucket in transition. The Thunder just seem to have GSW by its collective throat really. It also seems like something the ever-long Durant could do more of. —OKC 87, GSW 59
3rd Quarter (8:15)- Reggie Miller of TNT said the lead needs to be 12 or less by the start of the fourth. Miller said that given the firepower of the Warriors that 12 is a manageable comeback. Even so, OKC's defense is keeping the Warriors out of their comfort zone and GS just picked up a 24-second violation to prove that point further. Chesapeake Energy Arena is getting pretty loud now, too. —OKC 80, GSW 56
3rd Quarter (9:15)- If the Warriors do not get it under 20 by the quarter's end, it seems doubtful Steve Kerr pushes the matter with his starters in the fourth quarter. It seems excruciatingly early to say that, but the Thunder are holding this lead big and steady as Curry sinks a couple free throws. —OKC 80, GSW 56
3rd Quarter (9:28)- Timeout on the floor. —OKC 80, GSW 54
3rd Quarter (9:28)- Serge Ibaka hit his second three of the game, but Kevin Durant is a little gimpy and wincing in pain. His ankle appeared to have rolled slightly, but he will stay on. —OKC 79, GSW 54
3rd Quarter (11:09)- Klay Thompson just threw it away to a cutting Andrew Bogut. The Warriors just do not seem to be clicking like the high-powered engine it usually is. —OKC 74, GSW 49
HALFTIME—The "Splash Brothers" are 9 of 27 from the field and the Warriors are shooting 35.2 percent as a team. Westbrook and Durant have combined for 39 points on a combined 10 of 21 shooting. The Thunder are shooting 52 percent from the floor as a team. We'll be back shortly for the second half commentary here on VAVEL. —OKC 72, GSW 47
HALFTIME—Draymond Green just fouled Russell Westbrook on a three taken from about five feet beyond the arc. That is a mental mistake, a letdown. It also enabled the Thunder to cap that quarter by scoring its last 13 points. Green knows he messed up and is demonstrably rueful. —OKC 72, GSW 47
2nd Quarter (27.0 seconds): The Warriors have missed 17 of their last 19 field goals and Dion Waiters (eight points on the night) just created a dunk vine! The Thunder have done the late-quarter closeout just as described and Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant can smell blood in the water. This swing game is huge and the Thunder are in the driver's seat. —OKC 69, GSW 47
2nd Quarter (Under 2 minutes): Kevin Durant just swatted Draymond Green and came down and hit the three in transition. That could be thought of as a five-point swing. Who is "the real MVP" now, huh? —OKC 64, GSW 47
2nd Quarter (2:32): Stephen Curry just bricked a free throw. That cannot be a good omen. —OKC 59, GSW 47
2nd Quarter (2:32): The Warriors are looking a lot more beatable than they did the entire 82-game season. Could it be that OKC really is just this good and sort of sandbagged on us all? Or have the Warriors actually fallen off some? Curry is just 2 of 7 from downtown. —OKC 59, GSW 46
2nd Quarter (2:32): The Warriors have missed 13 of their last 15 field goal attempts. The Thunder have missed their last nine three-pointers. Timeout in the action. —OKC 59, GSW 46
2nd Quarter (3:08): Dion Waiters has six points on 3 of 5 shooting to go with two assists and two boards. The Thunder just need everyone stepping up a little bit, to counter that "third wheel/third option" argument earlier. —OKC 59, GSW 46
2nd Quarter (3:15): Dion Waiters made a nice move to the basket to give OKC its biggest lead of the game as the Warriors call timeout. If the Thunder close this quarter strong they could put it nearly out of reach.—OKC 59, GSW 46
2nd Quarter (4:05): Draymond Green ran a beautiful high-low game with Klay Thompson that led to an easy layup for Thompson. Thompson came back the next possession to draw contact on Andre Roberson. The next foul puts OKC over the limit. —OKC 55, GSW 46
2nd Quarter (4:42): Adams just picked up his third foul in a pick and roll set. That will bring Dion Waiters in as the Thunder go small now. —OKC 55, GSW 44
2nd Quarter (4:46): Steven Adams checked in to a nice ovation. Adams has seven points and five rebounds. He is ranked No. 2 among active playoff players in rebounding going into this game. —OKC 53, GSW 44
2nd Quarter (5:00): The Golden State Warriors are using their small ball lineup and Andre Iguodala is covering Kevin Durant. Draymond Green is playing the 5-spot. —OKC 52, GSW 42
2nd Quarter (5:57): Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have combined for 23 points and have taken 18 of the Thunder's 35 field goal attempts.
2nd Quarter (5:57): Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry are a combined 7 of 17 from the field and 3 of 10 from three-point range.
2nd Quarter (5:57): We join the game-in-progress with the Oklahoma City Thunder leading the Golden State Warriors 48-40 in the second quarter.
But now is not the time for tinkering with rosters, and the Thunder can assess its fate when this series concludes. For right now, it is about trying to slow a 73-win team no matter how the odds may be stacked against it. Durant and Westbrook certainly have no quit in them, so continue to follow along here at VAVEL as the Game 3 drama unfolds.
One can only imagine what the Thunder would be like if they still had a third wheel like James Harden. In an era of "Big Threes" why did OKC decide to stick with just two main cogs? Is the model outdated? Does it not require three stars like the Cavs have with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love? Or the Warriors even...with Curry, Thompson and Green? There is no one after Durant and Westbrook to form any sort of Big three.
Will this be a defining series of Durant's career, or will it be his last in OKC? He is a free agent this summer and could easily test his talents elsewhere because nothing has panned out in Oklahoma City yet. He and Westbrook do function well together, despite pundits frequently asserting otherwise, but it is clear the Thunder are lacking something. Or perhaps we should say, someone.
Dion Waiters needs to realize who he is and who his teammates are. The oft-viewed vine of Kevin Durant using profanity profusely to put Waiters back in line has illustrated just what he is, and what he must be. At some point he is going to wake up and realize that being a lottery pick did not mean much of anything and that he is lucky to be able to don an NBA jersey. When Durant wants the ball, give him the ball Dion.
Kanter is woeful defensively and some of the best humor in the series has been the four times he has found himself switched onto Stephen Curry. Curry scored in all but one of those switches (So maybe he is human?). Kanter actually needs Adams to coach him through most defensive rotations and he needs to be used carefully by Donovan. Kanter can be a major scorer and looks so in tune with the game on offense, but as soon as much of anything happens on the defensive end he looks like a confused deer in a car tunnel. It's tough to say exactly what that means, but it is not good.
How much more of the Thunder's "Twin Tower" lineup are we going to see? That is, will Billy Donovan continue to counteract the Warriors' small lineup with Enes Kanter and Steven Adams?
OKC still, though, cannot be counted out. The Thunder have two of the best three talents individually in this series in Durant and Russell Westbrook, and both are defining talents capable of taking over games just like Curry did in Game 2. Moreover, OKC is back on its home court and it does, in fact, have the homecourt advantage now in this series. Wrestling that advantage, and the power of Oracle Arena, away from the Dubs could prove to be OKC's saving grace.
As if that were not enough, even with Curry out the Warriors were getting max production from Klay Thompson. While Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green are not the deadeye shooters the "Splash Brothers" are, they round out the perimeter nicely. The Dubs are just a more well rounded and deeper team.
In order to slow the Warriors, Curry cannot be left unchecked like that. But how can the Thunder keep watch on him for the entire duration of a game? And even when that is not enough? The point is not here to soliloquize some tale of an unstoppable force, but the reigning two-time MVP does not take much breathing room to get his shot off. And when he is feeling it that means damage can happen quickly.
Curry's 17-point third quarter really was all done within the span of 1:42. He scored 15 points while the Thunder managed just two. Head coach Billy Donovan tried to slow him with a timeout, but Curry came back on to immediately can yet another triple and the game was getting quickly out of hand.
Kevin Durant could be thought of as the lynchpin in this series. As he goes, so go the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder were in the game for the first half of Game 2, and Durant was the center of why. He shot 9 of 13 and had 23 points, and the rest of the Thunder were a paltry 11 of 29 combined. The Warriors came out in the third quarter and effectively cut the snake off the head, limiting Durant's touches—and his impact on the game. Durant attempted just five field goals in the second half and Stephen Curry dropped 17 points in the third quarter.
Hello, and welcome to VAVEL’s live commentary of Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The Golden State Warriors came back in Game 2 to even the series 1-1, but now the series shifts back to Oklahoma City as the Thunder host Game 3 action at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time on TNT.