The Oklahoma City Thunder put it all together nicely for four quarters, as they got a dominant 108-91 victory over the Golden State Warriors. It was a nice surprise, as the Thunder didn’t blow their big lead, and kept Golden State out of striking distance for the majority of the game. Here are some key and interesting numbers in the Thunder’s big win:
To point out the obvious, Russell Westbrook had an amazing game, on both ends of the floor. He put a season-high 34 points, while getting to the rim mercilessly and finishing with reckless abandon. He also finished with 10 rebounds, nine assists along with four steals. You could tell he wanted this win badly, and his performance proved it.
Oklahoma City got out to an early lead like they’ve done a lot this year, but this time they kept that lead. Each of the first three quarters, the Thunder increased their lead and never relaxed or let the Warriors have any life. It was a glimpse of what this team is capable of when they put in all the effort for 48 minutes.
Thunder in the past have had success against this very good Warriors squad by winning on the glass. Tonight that was no different, as Oklahoma City out-rebounded Golden State by 11 boards, 50 to Warriors’ 39. Oklahoma City also brought down 13 offensive boards, leading to second chance scoring opportunities.
Maybe sneakily most important stat of all lost in the Thunder win: they forced Golden State to turn the ball over 22 times. It was achieved by active defense by every single Thunder player, especially Paul George who seem to deflect every pass and had plenty of steals. Oklahoma City had a total of 15 steals, and they will be hard to beat by anyone when they are this active defensively.
The big three for Oklahoma City have shown plenty of flashes on what they could be. Tonight, they were locked in all night, and played their best we have seen all season. They combined for 76 total points, Anthony with 22 of those points while George put up 20 himself.
Interestingly enough, the Thunder only shot 32 percent from deep, which is usually not good enough to beat a team like Golden State. They made up for this by defending the three well, getting to the free throw line, and crashing the offensive glass.
37 minutes played by Steven Adams, which is about six or seven minutes more than usual this season. Donovan obviously tweaked with the rotations a bit, as hes trying to figure out why Oklahoma City kept blowing early leads. Tonight, he ran Adams with the second unit, and it helped the defense immensely. I bet this is something we see Billy go with again.
Josh Huestis made his mark, who was a plus-10 in the plus/minus category in 17 minutes played. He led the bench in minutes played tonight, and played especially well defensively. He wasn’t much of a presence scoring-wise, but Huestis just seems like a guy who makes the smart play and is reliable enough to do his job when out on the court.
If you wonder why Andre Roberson plays so much, this number is here for you: Klay Thompson was held to just nine points on three for 12 shooting from the floor. Roberson can take credit for that quiet night by Klay, as Andre’s defense was superb all night long.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!