Oh, man… that was quite a turnaround from the Oklahoma City Thunder’s previous Game 1, when they got whacked by the Spurs. On Monday the Thunder beat the Warriors 109-101 to take a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, as well as homecourt advantage in the series.
The Warriors were in control for the first half, heading into the locker room up 13 at the break, and held serve for most of the ensuing quarter. With 3:31 to play in the 3rd, Steph Curry drained a 3 to put Golden State up 12, but over the next 4 minutes and 17 seconds, Westbrook scored 8 points, and Durant 5, including a 27-footer to tie it 88-88 with 11:48 to play. Seventy-eight seconds later, Dion Waiters 2-point basket gave the Thunder their first lead since being up 10-9 in the first.
OKC’s lead grew steadily to 8 points, until the Warriors’ mini-run got them back within 1 with 2 minutes to play on a Harrison Barnes 3-pointer. Golden State then went into fouling mode, but the Thunder kept hitting their freebies, and the Warriors would make just one more field goal, an Andre Iguodala layup, the rest of the way.
Westbrook led all scorers with 27 points, along with 6 rebounds, 12 assists and 7 steals, and Kevin Durant had 26-10-3, though both men shot a combined 17 of 51. Steven Adams continued to contribute for OKC, going 16-12, and Serge Ibaka went 11-11.
Curry led the Warriors in points, rebounds and assists (26-10-7), and with all due respect to Curry, if he’s leading your team in rebounding, it’s time to retool – dude’s 6’3”.
Both teams shot just 44% from the floor, but the Thunder had the advantage from downtown, 47% to 37%, outrebounded the Warriors 52 to 44, and hit on 11 more free throws, though neither team made 70% from the stripe.