NBA Playoffs – Day 33

The Warriors get their groove back.

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After last night’s debacle, it’s refreshing to get back out west for Game 2 between the Warriors and the Thunder. Golden State’s trying to get back on track after their surprising loss in Game 1. One of the biggest questions the face is still the health of MVP Steph Curry. It seems as though he’s not 100%, and that might be all the difference the Thunder need to take this series away. Either way, we should be in for another great battle, as there’s plenty on the line tonight. OKC can go up 2-0 in the series before heading home, while the Warriors would obviously like to even things up before hitting the road. Just as long as it’s better than the mess in the Eastern Conference Finals, we’ll all be happy.

9:01 pm – We’re live in Oakland for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on TNT! Marv Albert welcomes us to the game. He’ll narrate alongside Reggie Miller.

9:04 – Harrison Barnes chases down the opening tip, and the Warriors start the game with the ball.

9:05 – Klay Thompson knocks down a three for the first points of the game, giving the Warriors an early 3-0 advantage.

9:06 – Draymond Green knocks down a three, and the Thunder quickly call a time out with the score Golden State 6, Oklahoma City 0 with 10:11 left in the first quarter. Green made sure to stare down Steven Adams after hitting his three. Meanwhile, the Warriors are blatantly not guarding Thunder shooting guard Andre Roberson, allowing an extra defender to roam freely to help against Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

9:09 – Russell Westbrook gets to the hoop for a layup, and the Thunder are on the board, trailing 6-2.

9:12 – The unguarded Andre Roberson nails a three for the Thunder.

9:17 – Steven Adams has Festus Ezeli land on him and Adams is going to need a minute. He gingerly heads off to the bench, and hopefully he’ll be able to return. It’s already the second foul on Ezeli, the Warriors backup center.

9:18 – We have a time out with the score Golden State 16, Oklahoma City 12 with 4:54 left in the first quarter.

9:19 – Steven Adams is off to the locker room.

9:20 – Good news! Steven Adams has returned to the Thunder bench!

9:22 – Steph Curry goes flying into the stands trying to chase down a loose ball. He disappears into the crowd and isn’t seen for a bit, leading to some tense moments, but he finally, and slowly, emerges. Now we’ll have a time out with the score Golden State 22, Oklahoma City 16 with 2:54 left in a lively opening quarter.

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9:31 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Golden State 27, Oklahoma City 20. Steph Curry’s looking 100% so far, with 11 points to lead the Warriors. We’re off to a similar start as we were in Game 1. Will the Thunder come storming back, or can the Warriors keep up their lead.

9:36 – Marrese Speights goaltends a shot attempt from Enes Kanter, and that’s how the first points of the second quarter are scored. It cuts the Warriors lead to 27-22.

9:40 – We have a time out with the score Golden State 35, Oklahoma City 26 with 8:45 left until halftime. The Warriors have built up a nice lead, but the Thunder are lurking, you know they’re always not far off from getting back into the game. I’d say more, but we’ve been distracted by this fun Twitter exchange…

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9:43 – Kevin Durant hits a three, and he’s scored ten straight Thunder points, and the Warriors need a time out because the score’s suddenly Golden State 35, Oklahoma City 32 with 8:11 left in the first half. Thank you for making look smart, Durant!

9:49 – Draymond Green gets to the basket for a hoop over Steven Adams, and the big New Zealander might have taken a shot to the nuts. He’s doubled over under the hoop, and it’ll lead to a time out with the score Golden State 41, Oklahoma City 36 with 6:20 left in what’s been a rough first half for Steven Adams.

9:53 – Adams remains in the game. New Zealanders are a tough bunch.

9:55 – Kevin Durant hits a turnaround, and smiles his way back up the court because after a rough shooting performance in Game 1, he’s already up to 21 points here tonight, 14 of which have come here in the second quarter. He’s done it on 8-12 shooting, and it leads to another time out with the score Golden State 43, Oklahoma City 41 with 4:32 to go until halftime.

10:06 – The Warriors end the first half on an 8-0 run, after the Thunder had tied the game, and our score going into halftime is Golden State 57, Oklahoma City 49. For a lot of the second quarter, the Warriors weren’t looking like themselves, but they made sure to get back into a groove when it really matters, and they’ve got an eight point lead. Steph Curry still has 11 points to lead the Warriors, and Klay Thompson is right behind him with ten. Kevin Durant leads everybody with 23 points on 9-13 shooting, and it’s safe to assume that he’s going to continue to be heard from throughout the second half.

This has been such a fun game to watch, with both teams playing at a high level and jostling for control. It’s exactly the opposite of what we’re getting from the Eastern Conference Finals. Hopefully this game doesn’t let up, and we get an exciting finish down the stretch.

10:14 – It’s time for tonight’s episode of Today in NBA Playoff History, brought to you by Basketball-Reference!

Back on May 18, 1991, Magic Johnson dropped 21 dimes for the Lakers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Trail Blazers. Los Angeles would win the game, 111-106. Magic finished the game with 15 points, 6 rebounds and those 21 assists. James Worthy led the Lakers with 28, and Sam Perkins scored 18 and grabbed 15 rebounds. Portland was led by Clyde Drexler and his 28 points, 8 rebounds and 12 assists. Jerome Kersey scored 21 and grabbed 8, and Buck Williams chipped in with 6 points and 10 rebounds. Despite having home court advantage in the series, the Blazers would lose in six, culminating in a 91-90 loss in the deciding game, which sent the Lakers to the Finals, where they would fall to the Bulls.

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10:25 – Klay Thompson takes it into the paint and hits a runner, and it’s the first points of the second half, extending the Warriors lead to 59-49.

10:29 – Harrison Barnes knocks down a three, and the Thunder take a time out with the score Golden State 64, Oklahoma City 53 with 8:59 left in the third quarter. It’s the Warriors largest lead of the game, and the Thunder need to start messing around, because the Warriors don’t seem very keen on giving this one up tonight.

10:38 – Technical foul on Kevin Durant after he has some less than friendly things to the refs after he’s called for fouling Steph Curry as he shoots a three. Curry hits the free throw, and has three more thanks to the foul on the three. He hits all of them, and it’s a four point play that puts the Warriors up, 71-57.

10:41 – The Warriors steal the ball and it leads to a Steph Curry two pointer, that would have been a three had he not had a toe on the line. Anyway, he’s scored 12 straight points for the Warriors, and the Thunder need another time out with the score Golden State 76, Oklahoma City 59 with 5:47 left in the third.

10:43 – Steph Curry hits another three, and he’s starting to go out of his way to hit them in front of the Thunder bench, while striking a pose. He’s up to 15 straight points for Golden State, and he’s done it in just 1:58 of action.

10:53 – Down 86-68 as the third quarter winds down, the Thunder intentionally foul lousy free throw shooter Festus Ezeli so they can get an extra possession. He misses both free throws, but Draymond Green tips in the miss! Whoops!

10:55 – The third quarter comes to a close with the score Golden State 88, Oklahoma City 68. Steph Curry went off for 17 points in the quarter, quickly taking the game away from the Thunder. After looking a little off, and even causing some concern amongst their fans and the experts, the Warriors are back to looking like themselves after laying the smack down in the third.

10:59 – Andre Iguodala knocks down a three to get the scoring started in the fourth. It gets the Warriors lead up to 91-68.

11:00 – Iguodala goes flying in for a dunk, and the Thunder call a time out as things continue to go down the drain for them. The score’s Golden State 93, Oklahoma City 68 with 10:33 left in the game.

11:08 – The likes of Kyle Singler has entered the game for the Thunder. They might as well raise a white flag.

11:11 – We have a time out with the score Golden State 102, Oklahoma City 75 with 7:18 to go. Everyone’s pretty much openly looking ahead to Game 3 at this point. This is still better than the Eastern Conference Finals, though.

11:14 – We’re back from time out, and Steph Curry is back in the game. He’s got a big-ass bump on his right elbow, thanks to that dive he took into the stands way back in the first quarter.

11:17 – Curry returns to the bench after an uneventful fourth quarter stint.

11:24 – We have what should be one last time out with the score Golden State 117, Oklahoma City 84 with 2:10 to go.

11:30 – The game is over. The final score: Golden State 118, Oklahoma City 91.

Steph Curry looked fine tonight, big-ass bump on his elbow notwithstanding. He led the way with 28 points on 9-15 shooting. Kevin Durant scored 29 for the Thunder, and grabbed 6 rebounds, but he was pretty quiet after his big first half.

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The Warriors roared to life in the third quarter, playing perhaps their best stretch of basketball in the Playoffs so far. After Game 1, it was easy to figure that they’d come back strong and make a statement, just as the Thunder will likely do in Game 3 when the series switches to OKC. That being said, the Warriors definitely got their swagger back, and they made sure to let the Thunder know it by staring them down more than once. Steph Curry’s third quarter was just the latest addition to his growing legend, and it’s performances like that which make me want to watch every Playoff game in the first place.

Even though it was a blowout it still seemed like a fun game. Tomorrow, we return East, where the blowouts aren’t fun, they’re just blowouts. Can’t wait.

Author: tomeagher

Watching too much basketball.

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