Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals took place in Oklahoma City with both teams tallying a win in the series. As a matter of fact, this one shouldn't have even been called a game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder took control of this series with a commanding rout over the Golden State Warriors. This game was close up until the second quarter with the Thunder only holding a 6 point lead at the break. This was a statement game for the Thunder and they came from the beginning of the game and played like it was just that. Once the second quarter hit, things began to unravel on the Warriors side. Oklahoma City outscored Golden Sate by 19 points in that quarter and really never looked back.
Stats of the Night:
Kevin Durant- 33 points and 8 rebounds
Russell Westbrook- 30 points, 8 rebounds, and 12 assists
Andre Roberson- 13 points, 3-5 from 3-point range
Oklahoma City Punches Golden State in the Mouth
The Thunder came into this game with the sting of an embarrassing loss to the Warriors last Wednesday night. They knew they had to come out and play better. They ended up playing a lot better than last game actually. It opened up with a back and forth contest in the first quarter with the Thunder deploying their own "small ball" lineup with Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant, Andre Roberson, Dion Waiters, and Russell Westbrook. That forced Steve Kerr to go to his "Death Lineup" a little earlier than expected because the Thunder were killing the Warriors in transition.
The Thunder had control of this game from the second quarter until the conclusion with almost everyone on the team hitting shots and making plays. Dion Waiters is a guy that is really impressing in this entire playoffs. Waiters was hitting the three consistently and making smart decisions at a different rate than the regular season, pretty good for his first playoff run of his young career. Oklahoma City had six players in double figures tonight.
Golden State Couldn't Make Anything
The Warriors shot horribly from the field for most of the game starting in the second quarter. Their final percentage from the field ended up being 41% but that percentage was hiked up in the fourth quarter during mop up duty. Credit has to be given to OKC's defense for sticking to their game plan as best as possible and running the Warriors off the 3-point line. The Warriors also missed a plethora of open shots and layups that they normally make on any given night. But this game wasn't about the missed shots, it was about the lack of defense being played during runs.
Golden State couldn't match the Thunder's speed or hustle tonight. The Thunder looked like the superior team by far. The Warriors have to bring the intensity next game which will be tough considering they will the road team once again. There is no doubt that Oklahoma City smells blood in the water and will want to take advantage of their opportunity to take complete control of the series. The Warriors would definitely need Draymond Green if they want to have a shot at evening the series but that possibility could be in jeopardy after his kick on Steven Adams tonight. It was claimed to be unintentional but the league may view it otherwise, I certainly do.
Game 4 will be in Oklahoma City again on Tuesday and aired on TNT at 9:00 pm ET.