Warriors Thunder struck, on brink of elimination
OKC make a thunderous statement in Game 4 as they find themselves one win away from their first finals appearance since 2012. There were a lot of tempers flaring headed into Game 4. The defending champs were looking to even up the series, as the Thunder wanted to prove that Game 3 wasn’t a fluke. Draymond Green (6 points 1-7 FG) got treated to an arena full of boos as he was not suspended for kicking Steven Adams (11 points 2-4 FG) in the groin in Game 3.
OKC wasted no time as they went on a 16-0 run to go up 22-8 midway through the first quarter. However, Golden State came fighting back as they went on an 11-2 run, and trailed by 2 early on in the 2nd quarter, 32-30. It seemed like the Warriors were starting to gain their confidence as OKC quickly went on another run, this time 18-4, and built a nice lead going into the half, 72-53. Kevin Durant had 26 points, but was (8-24 FG, 1-5 3-pt FG). Russell Westbrook on the other hand was sensational as he erupted for 36 points (12-27 FG, 4-8 3-pt FG). Westbrook at times is hit or miss with his jumpers, but right now he’s making all the shots that matter. OKC is really confident right now as they didn’t give Golden State much of a chance to get back into the game. Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson each contributed 17 a piece and gave the warriors problems all night.
The Warriors played catch up from the opening tipoff. They found themselves trailing by a large margin, going on a run themselves, to put them back in the ball game, and eventually they’d lose their momentum, and we’re back down by 19. It was a rough night for Golden State to say the least. Stephen Curry (19 points 6-20 FG, 2-10 3-pt FG) just doesn’t seem right. Honestly I don’t think he’s knee is right, and everybody is seeing it. He was 2-7 with uncontested shots, and he hasn’t been himself the last two games. Curry can’t do it all as he couldn’t get much help from his teammates as they find themselves down 3-1. Klay Thompson (26 points, 9-17 FG, 4-11 3-pt FG) did his part trying to keep his team in the game, and surged in the 3rd quarter, scoring 19 points as he began to push OKC on their heels. Harrison Barnes was the only other Warrior player besides Thompson and Curry who would pass double digits with 11 points. Draymond Green has been feeling the pressure on both sides of the ball, especially when he’s being defended by Durant.
Golden State now in a hole must do the unthinkable and find a way to win three games straight to make it to the NBA Finals. I think OKC coming out of the series with the Spurs has really made them into a different team as they continue to get better and scarier in the post-season. OKC might find Game 5 a bit more challenging as they head back to Oracle Arena trying to shut the door on them for good. We all know the Warriors are going to come out fired up in front of their home crowd, and not go away easy, but I am worried about Curry’s health and his knees. Even if Golden State can find a way to win Game 5, I don’t feel confident in them heading back to OKC for a Game 6 when no one is stepping up. A heated and exciting Game 5 comes our way Thursday at 9:00 PM ET.
Orlando Torres covers the NBA for MyFantasySportsTalk.com | Follow him on Twitter @itslandoyo