It only took Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals to prove a second straight title for the Golden State Warriors was going to be anything but easy. The Thunder entered Sunday night’s game with a plan and did everything in their power to not only execute it but send Golden State a major wake-up call in their 133-105 victory.
OKC now leads the series 2-1, and part of their well-executed plan included the first time their two star players shot over 50 percent from the field, as Kevin Durant went 10-of-15 for 33 points, and Russell Westbrook went 10-of-19 for 30 points and 12 assists. To add salt to the wound, the Thunder led by 41 points at one point, giving the Warriors their largest deficit of the season.
To make matters worse, the Warrior’s Steph Curry didn’t play like he did last time he was in Oklahoma City, scoring 46 points, tying an NBA record with 12 three-pointers and hitting a game-winning, 37-footer. Instead, he managed to make only 7-of-17 for 24 points.
Part of OKC’s momentum could have been in part to a Flagrant 1 foul that was issued to Golden State’s Draymond Green with 5:57 left to play in the second quarter. Green became the Thunder fans’ favorite person to hate after he kicked Steven Adams in the groin after a foul, marking the second time in the series that Green hit Adams there, with the first time coming from his knee in Game 2.
Thunder fans chant "kick him out" during replay of Draymond Green kicking Steven Adams below the belt pic.twitter.com/LZ1bR1pRaM
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 23, 2016
OKC fans questioned his motives as Green struggled in all aspects of his game, finishing with six points on 1-for-9 shooting while the Warriors were outscored by 43 points when he was in the game. Following the foul, the Thunder outscored the Warriors 24-7 the rest of the half.
Draymond Green on whether his Flagrant 1 for kicking Steven Adams was intentional: pic.twitter.com/ozHA8hFinv
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 23, 2016
The Thunder carried that same momentum into the third quarter by making 17-of-22 shots in the third quarter to take a 117-80 lead into the fourth.
The game remained lopsided all night in favor of the Thunder, as the Warriors only managed one offensive rebound in the first quarter for a game total of 10, made only 10-of-33 3-point attempts, and were outscored at the free-throw line 33-19. The Thunder however, shot a first half 52.3 percent, and 50 percent overall.
The Golden State Warriors will have a lot to prove entering Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, NBA playoff action continues tonight as the Cleveland Cavaliers will look for redemption against the Toronto Raptors after falling in Game 3, 99-84. While Cleveland still leads the series 2-1, Game 3 marked the Raptors first conference finals win in franchise history and the first time the Cavs were held to under 100 points this postseason.
In Game 3, Toronto dominated the glass with a 54-40 rebounding margin and fed off the energy of their home crowd to capture the win. Led by Bismack Biyombo’s franchise playoff-record 26 rebounds, the Raptors claimed command of the inside, limiting Cavs Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson to a combined three points and 12 rebounds. Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving also struggled, managing only three of his 19 shots. Raptor’s DeMar DeRozan scored a series-high 32 points on 12-of-24 shooting to lead Toronto offensively.
— NBA (@NBA) May 23, 2016
Tip-off from Toronto is set for 8:30 p.m. tonight.