I just got back from Maine, and not a moment too soon! Tonight, it’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and the Thunder. The Thunder came from behind and stole Game 1, and the Warriors ran away with a big Game 2 win. Now the series is down in OKC, as these two powerhouses battle for a 2-1 series lead.
8:00 pm – We’re live in Oklahoma City for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals! Marv Albert welcomes us to the game, and he’s joined by both Chris Webber and Reggie Miller. They’ll be narrating the action for us tonight.
8:03 – The Thunder win the opening tip and Game 3 is underway! After the Thunder miss their first shot, Steph Curry hits a one-legged fadeaway, and Kevin Durant answers back with a midrange shot, and this one starts off tied at two.
8:12 – Dion Waiters wraps a pass around a defender to Serge Ibaka who slams it home! It leads into our first time out with the score Oklahoma City 21, Golden State 13 with 5:58 left in the first quarter.
A Serge of Thunder! https://t.co/VDw1TX5h7X
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) May 23, 2016
8:19 – We’ve got another time out, and the Thunder fans are on their feet because the score’s Oklahoma City 30, Golden State 20 with 3:15 left in the first quarter. The Thunder are off to a great start, and a big reason why is that everyone’s contributing, not just Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. You know what they say: the role players perform better at home, and so far, they’ve been able to provide OKC an extra shot in the arm.
8:23 – I love that Marv Albert keeps rubbing it into Reggie Miller’s face that Steph Curry has broken his record for consecutive Playoff games with a three pointer. This time, he’s getting extra help from Chris Webber.
8:27 – The first quarter comes to an end with the score Oklahoma City 34, Golden State 28. Kevin Durant has 11 points to lead the Thunder, who are off to an excellent start. The Warriors aren’t far behind them, however, and we should be in for a much closer game than Game 2.
8:31 – Andre Iguodala cans a three to start of the second quarter. It cuts the Thunder lead down to 34-31.
8:36 – We’ve got a time out with the score Oklahoma City 38, Golden State 38 with 8:53 left until halftime.
8:42 – Dion Waiters hits a jumper, and it leads to a time out with the score Oklahoma City 46, Golden State 40 with 7:13 to go in the first half. Both teams continue to play well, but the Thunder are taking advantage of Steph Curry getting some rest on the bench early on in the second quarter.
8:46 – Marv Albert tells us that Golden State’s Draymond Green was so personally offended that he was picked in the second round of the draft that he can recite every player that was picked in front of him. All 34 of them. TNT takes the opportunity to show a graphic listing some of the notable nobodies that were taken in front of Green, which unfortunately leads to a reminder that my Celtics took none other than Fab Melo with the 22nd pick that year. Ouch.
8:47 – Draymond Green kicks Steven Adams in the balls. Green went up for a shot against Adams, and for some reason kicked his leg up between Adams’ legs for a shot right to the sack. The refs are reviewing the play to try and determine if Green did it on purpose or not, as the Thunder fans unleash a never before heard “KICK HIM OUT!” chant.
This is some picture. pic.twitter.com/F9rJVkVm2t
— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) May 23, 2016
8:50 – After much deliberation, Draymond Green is called for a flagrant-1. Green also gets free throws because Adams did foul him before taking the shot to the nuts. Green hits his free throws, and Adams does the same. The Thunder take the ball with a 50-42 lead.
8:59 – Russell Westbrook sets Kevin Durant up for a big one-hand slam, and the Thunder have matched their largest lead of the game! It’s Oklahoma City 59, Golden State 46 with 3:08 left until halftime. OKC’s outscoring Golden State 14-4 on fast break points.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) May 23, 2016
9:10 – We’re here at halftime, and the Thunder are on a 13-0 run, and if you want to draw it out, you can extend it up to a 31-7 run. As a result, our score’s Oklahoma City 72, Golden State 47. It’s the largest deficit the Warriors have faced all year, counting both the regular season and the Playoffs. Kevin Durant has 23 points and 6 rebounds, while Russell Westbrook is working on a triple-double with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Steph Curry has 11 points and 5 rebounds and Klay Thompson’s also scored 11 for the Warriors, but they’re all out of sorts and definitely not looking like themselves. All this after they reclaimed their groove in Game 2.
9:15 – It’s time for tonight’s episode of Today in NBA Playoff History, brought to you by Basketball-Reference!
Back on May 22, 1993, the Seattle Supersonics closed out the Western Conference Semifinals with a 103-100 overtime win in Game 7 against the Houston Rockets. Ricky Pierce led the Sonics with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Sam Perkins added 23 points and 9 boards, and Shawn Kemp sprung for 18 & 11. Hakeem Olajuwon gave it his all for the Rockets, finishing with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 9 assists, but the Sonics were able to outlast them. This game sounds like it’s worthy of Hardwood Classics on NBA TV. Every Overtime Game 7 should be an automatic entry. By the way, I enjoy dredging up old Sonics games while the Thunder were on. I would much rather be watching the Seattle SuperSonics right now instead of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and unless you’re from Oklahoma, I’m willing to bet you agree.
9:28 – After Russell Westbrook falls down, Steph Curry is able to hit a jumper for the first points of the second half, but the Warriors have an awful lot of work to do, trailing 72-49.
9:32 – We have a time out in between a pair of Steven Adams free throws. After hitting the first one, it’s Oklahoma City 80, Golden State 54 with 9:48 left in the third quarter. Meanwhile, we’re on Triple-Double Watch with Russell Westbrook up to 16 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists.
9:42 – Dion Waiters gets into the paint and hits a jumper, and the Thunder are continuing to roll here in Game 3. The shell shocked Warriors take a time out with the score Oklahoma City 92, Golden State 59 with 5:41 left in the third quarter. The Warriors are playing without energy, or purpose, and they’re missing almost all of the shots that they halfheartedly hoist up. Meanwhile, the Thunder are doing the exact opposite as they continue to evolve towards higher and higher levels of basketball.
9:49 – Steph Curry hits a three, but he’s just 3-11 from downtown so far, and 6-16 overall. It leads to a time out with the score Oklahoma City 97, Golden State 66 with 4:15 left in the third quarter as the Thunder don’t want to let the Warriors have any semblance of momentum.
10:01 – The third quarter comes to an end with the score Oklahoma 117, Golden State 80. Everyone seems pretty flabbergasted as the Thunder continue to thrash the defending champions and winners of 73 regular season games. Both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have reached 30 points in this one, and Westbrook also has 8 rebounds and 12 assists as we continue our Triple-Double Watch.
10:06 – Marresse Speights hits a three to get the scoring started in the fourth quarter. It cuts the Thunder lead all the way down to 117-83. In other news, all of the starters have left the game, with the exception of Golden State’s Harrison Barnes, so for now, we’re canceling the Triple-Double Watch for Russell Westbrook until further notice.
10:07 – We have a time out with the score still Oklahoma City 117, Golden State 83 with 10:36 left in the basketball game.
10:17 – Another time out as we wait for this game to wind down. It’s Oklahoma City 125, Golden State 91 with 5:54 remaining. By the way, the Thunder/SuperSonics franchise record for points in a Playoff game is 133, which happened in a Triple Overtime game back in 2011 against the Grizzlies.
10:27 – A time out as the Thunder have equaled their franchise record for points in a Playoff game, thanks to a Cameron Payne baseline jumper. The score’s Oklahoma City 133, Golden State 101 with 1:42 left in the ball game.
10:32 – This one comes to an end with a final score of Oklahoma City 133, Golden State 105.
Goddamn! I think it’s safe to say that was unexpected. Kevin Durant scored 33 points on efficient 10-15 shooting, and he went 12-12 from the line. Russell Westbrook was right there with him, finishing with 30 points, 8 rebounds and 12 assists. Neither of them played in the fourth quarter. Enes Kanter came off the bench for 10 points and 12 rebounds. Steph Curry had 24 points and 5 rebonds for the Warriors, but it was a miserable night for the defending champs. Draymond Green had a rough time, shooting just 1-9.
As the Thunder continue to evolve into higher and higher levels of basketball existence, it appears that nobody is safe. This series is far from over, and the Warriors were down 2-1 twice in last year’s Playoffs, and they of course won the championship. That being said, we haven’t seen the Warriors look this bad against anyone, nor have we seen the Thunder play so devastatingly well. It’s set up what should be a great Game 4 on Tuesday night. Or, who knows, maybe it’ll be another blowout, but with these two teams, even the blowouts are interesting to watch.