OKC is one game away from bouncing the record-setting Golden State Warriors out of the playoffs. Their 118-94 Game 4 victory puts them in a commanding position in the series and can catapult them to what might be the biggest upset in NBA history.
The Warriors as a whole looked uncharacteristically bad for a second-straight game; Draymond Green seemed out of it during the aftermath of his kick to the land down under on Steven Adams, and Stephen Curry couldn’t take the lid of the basket.
During the first quarter, both teams appeared to be evenly matched. Each side shot roughly 46% from the field, but OKC held a 30-26 lead due to their success at the line. Kevin Durant led the charge for the Thunder with eight points, followed by Serge Ibaka‘s six, and five from Adams and Russell Westbrook. Touching on Curry’s shooting struggles, the reigning MVP launched seven shots in the frame and connected on just one, but still led the Dubs with seven points. Green was unusually sloppy, committing three turnovers and snagging just one rebound and one assist.
If you sat down with someone who’s never watched a minute of basketball and played them Westbrook’s second quarter, they’d be hard pressed not to tell you that he was the best player on the floor. In not even ten minutes of action, Russ had full domination over the Warriors and torched a superb defense for 16 points on 5/8 shooting, including 2/3 from downtown. He left his fingerprints while passing as well and dished out three assists. It didn’t stop with Westbrook, though, and the Thunder managed to put up 26 points outside of him. Golden State finished with 27 themselves, and Curry was outdueled as he finished with just eight on 3/7 shooting. OKC held a 72-53 halftime lead.
Just as Westbrook had done shortly before him, it didn’t take Klay Thompson too long to get hot, and he erupted for a 19-point third quarter. More astounding is that he needed less than nine minutes to put together his effort, at a time where the Warriors desperately needed someone to step up. Outside of Klay, the other Warriors totaled ten points, but their 29 gave them a seven-point edge over a Thunder team whose offense fell flat on its face out of the break. Although Westbrook compiled ten points, it wasn’t efficient, and he finished 3/9; Durant was just as bad, shooting 2/8. Despite the mini-collapse, OKC still held a decent lead and walked into the fourth up 94-82.
The fourth quarter saw a whole lot of nothing happen for Golden State, and OKC doubled up on them in the scoring department. Curry had just four points on three attempts, Thompson had three on three attempts, and Green had two on two attempts before Steve Kerr pulled his starters. Andre Roberson — of all the Thunder’s weapons — was essentially the closer in Game 4. He had a breakout period, going for nine points on 4/5 from the field when both Russ and KD couldn’t get anything going offensively.
Westbrook had a fantastic all-around game, finishing with 36 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and four steals. Durant had just as great of an evening and finished with 26 points, 11 boards, four steals, and three blocks — by the end of the night, OKC collected 16 steals and eight blocks and became the sixth team to do so in a playoff game since 1984. Thompson finished as the leading scorer for the Dubs with 26, and Green had a plus/minus of -30 for the second-straight game.
The Thunder can seal the deal in Game 5 this Thursday in Golden State.