Russell Westbrook Rallies Thunder Past Warriors
Russell Westbrook scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half as the Oklahoma City Thunder stunned Golden State Warriors 108-102 to steal Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday.Advertisement
Westbrook (27 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 7 steals) led Thunder’s fightback after the Warriors ran away with a 60-47 lead in the first half. Kevin Durant had a cold shooting night, going 10/30 from the field for his 26 points, but drained a clutch 17-foot jumper with 30.7 seconds left to essentially seal the deal for the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook takes over…
Besides playing lockdown defense on Stephen Curry, Westbrook scored 15 consecutive points for Thunder in the third quarter as the momentum shifted midway through the game. “We’ve just got to compete. It’s going to be a tough game. It’s a tough building. They have a lot of great players on their team, but I know we’re a great team and when we put our minds to it, tonight we didn’t play our best game and we came out with a win,” an elated Westbrook said after the victory. |Final Box Score|
For the Warriors, Curry led the way with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists while Draymond Green (23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks) and Klay Thompson (25 points, 9 rebounds) also had good shooting nights but couldn’t make clutch shots down the stretch. Harrison Barnes had 12 points but none of the other Warriors scored in double digits.
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Warriors killed on the boards
Steven Adams, in the midst of a breakout postseason, had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks as the Thunder dominated the Warriors on rebounds. Thunder collected a total of 52 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards, while the Warriors finished with 42 rebounds. Thunder got plenty of extra possessions which was an influencing factor in the fourth quarter.
After the loss, Curry acknowledged that his team rushed too many shots down the stretch. “We got rushed and tried to go for the home-run plays. Sometimes it works. Defensively we were getting enough stops and rebounds. We got out of character a little bit. It’s something we’ll learn from going forward.”
Incidentally, this was the first-ever playoff game between the two franchises, though Golden State Warriors lost a first-round series to OKC when they were the Seattle SuperSonics back in 1992.
Game 2 is on Wednesday. Will Russell Westbrook continue to stuff the stat sheet?