By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Oklahoma City cruised past the Warriors 116-97 on Thursday night. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Golden State hung tough through 24 minutes, but the difference in these two teams was on clear display in the third quarter. Oklahoma City clamped down the defense, using its length to disrupt the Warrior offense, while torching Golden State’s overmatched defense on the other end. Overall, OKC won the third quarter 36-23, turning a close one into a blowout.
It was over when…
…Kevin Martin (yes, Kevin Martin) flew through the lane for a ferocious follow slam with 11 minutes left, lifting the Thunder lead to 19. The game felt over a while before that, but this was the definitive nail in Golden State’s coffin. If Kevin Martin is doing this to your nonexistent defense, just go home:
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
Remarkably versatile and efficient, Kevin Durant was at his best on Thursday night, remaining strong as the team’s dominant scoring force, while also filling in the gaps everywhere else. He went for 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in 34 minutes, taking a comfortable and well-earned seat on the bench for most of the fourth quarter.
Unsung hero – Kevin Martin
This one must have felt good for Kevin Martin, OKC’s sixth man who has been struggling a bit as of late. He was the definition of efficiency, scoring 23 points on 10 shots in 19 impactful minutes. He looked good.
Charles Barkley, during the TNT halftime show, clearly not a Thunder believer this year: “You’re not going to beat the Miami Heat shooting jumpers. That’s why I don’t want to see OKC in the Finals again.”
The Serge Ibaka finger wag at the end of this video may be the best post-Dikembe Mutombo one I’ve seen.
Also, you’re going to want to check out this highlight: Russell Westbrook’s monster block leads to huge Kevin Durant slam. One of the best end-to-end plays of the year.
Three Thunder games remain:
-@ Portland on Friday
-vs Sacramento on Monday
-vs Milwaukee on Wednesday