Much of Monday night’s 48 minutes was filled with blunders, bad shots and, to put it bluntly, boring basketball. And for the Thunder, it was all too beautiful.
Oklahoma City beat Golden State 104-88 before 17,334 fans inside the Ford Center. The win was nice, but the method was much more noteworthy. The Thunder whipped the Warriors without falling into the trap of its pleasant yet perilous fast-paced style of play. Golden State, which entered the game averaging 109.8 points, was held to a season low in points and failed to score at least 100 for only the fifth time this season. The Thunder controlled the pace of the game by controlling the boards, limiting second-chance opportunities and utilizing exaggerated patience on the offensive end. As a result, Oklahoma City closed the book on its five-game homestand at 3-2 to bump its record to 11-9. "We didn’t play their game,” said Kevin Durant, who scored 22 of his team-high 28 points in the second half. "I think that’s one thing we did a lot last year against this team. That’s what we didn’t want to do because that’s when we’re playing into their hands. We did a great job of controlling the game on both ends, getting good shots, finding each other and letting our defense lead to offense.” The Thunder is now 7-1 when holding teams to less than 100 points. Oklahoma City’s next four opponents — Memphis, Cleveland, Denver and Dallas — each average at least 99.6 points, explaining why Monday’s method was so momentous. "We didn’t have our best stuff, and they had some players that were missing. Box score from Monday's game