NBA cupcake wars recap, 130-114
Let’s talk about cupcakes…
Tonight was no doubt the most anticipated game of the season for the Thunder, but it really wasn’t close for the majority of the last three quarters. A win tonight would’ve been the ultimate moral victory this season for the Thunder, but they simply just don’t match up well against Golden State. This was however one of the most fun Thunder games I’ve ever watched.
The second half of this one was insane. The Warriors led by 20 points for almost the entire third quarter, but it felt like overtime of a Game 7. Russ and KD were jawing openly at each before going into their respective huddles in a timeout in the third quarter. They’re officially talking again! Roberson and Durant have a “hoooold me back” moment after Roberson gives him a hard foul when KD drove to the basket. The Thunder turned a 26 point deficit to a 12 point deficit with 7:35 in the fourth, but that wasn’t enough to spark the comeback every OKC fan was hoping for.
Russ deserves a ton of credit for his level of play in this game, it was another MVP caliber performance for him. His composure on offense was very impressive, he had 47 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 1 steal. He turned the ball over 11 times, which tied his career high, but he was the biggest reason why the Thunder had even a glimmer of hope in this one. Russ first sat on the bench with 1:45 left in the first quarter and the game was tied 22-22. When he checked back in the game, the score was 30-45 with 8:11 left in the second quarter. The Thunder couldn’t dig themselves out of that hole. The Warriors went on to score 43 points in the second quarter.
Durant, Thompson and Curry were responsible for 66% of Golden State’s 130 points. The fluidity they have from three-point land is just unfair. The Warriors hit 13 three-pointers versus OKC’s 6 three-pointers made. The Warriors played their style and really controlled the pace for large stretches in this game. The biggest statistical difference maker for them was their efficiency, especially from downtown. Durant ended the night with 34 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. He’s now averaging 37.6 points per game against the Thunder.
The crowd was excellent tonight and the boos were relentless. There were multiple chants of “cupcake, cupcake” and it felt good for Thunder fans to get a chance to let their voices be heard. A big reason why Thunder fans vehemently boo Kevin is because of how he left OKC. No articles in the paper thanking the fans, nothing on social media for OKC fans—no appreciation for them whatsoever. There was zero resolution for the die-hard Thunder fan, he gave the Thunder fans the cold shoulder—just like Russ now gives him the cold shoulder.
Maybe one day Kevin won’t get boo’d here, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon because of the clear perception in Oklahoma of how he took the easy way out. Durant failed to play up to his standards in the last three games of the Western Conference Finals and then he leaves to play for the team that beat him. He left a championship quality roster that only got better this last offseason—a team built around him and Westbrook. He had every right to leave, but he certainly earned the nickname “Cupcake”.
- Javale McGee had a solid game with 16 points and 3 rebounds. He went 7-of-8 from the field and is proving to be a great pickup for the Warriors. He’s really the only Warrior player that I can compliment right now because of my homer fandom. It’s a little unfair though, he was after all a back-to-back MVP….
- Russ won a jump ball against Kevin Durant. That was an incredible moment. I had to watch that about four times.
- Victor Oladipo really had a nice night with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. Very good to see him play so well in a tense game.
- The Splash Brothers were splashing tonight. Curry had 26 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. Thompson had 26 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal.
- Andre Iguodala was a +31. His stats from this game aren’t eye-popping, but he had a lot of solid hustle plays and really is a huge reason why Golden State is so good.
- No Draymond Green cheap shots tonight. That’s always good to see.
- KD had 5 fouls and I really, really wanted to see him foul out. Solely because I wanted to hear “Hit the Road Jack” play over the PA system. Would’ve been an epic moment.
- Really disappointed Zaza missed this game. I wanna see the Westbrook/Zaza beef continue.
- Andre Roberson’s altercation with Durant made me just appreciate Roberson so much more. He plays with a ton of heart. I would pay good money to know what was said in that scrum. Re-sign Roberson!
- The Thunder get their rematch on March 20th.
Next up: At the Wizards on Monday