The Warriors game tonight in Oklahoma City started at 7pm local time. Or was that 8pm EST, or 6pm PST? The Warriors must have been confused as to what time the game actually started, because the Thunder scored the first 8 points, and led 18-2 less than five minutes into the contest.
It was an uphill climb from there for Golden State who played about even with the Thunder after falling behind by 16 before they even had their sneakers laced up. Heading to the 4th quarter, they were down 90-70, when the finally awoke. By then it was too late.
Led by Stephen Curry’s 39 points, and Monta Ellis’s 29, the Warriors cut the lead down to 110-107 with 23 ticks left on the clock, before Oklahoma City nailed four free throws to hang on to a 114-109 win.
Once again, the free throw shooting disparity was enormous, as the Thunder went to the charity stripe 40 times, knocking down 37, including a perfect 20-20 in the 3rd quarter. 20 free throws in one quarter? That’s one less than the Warriors had for the game.
And while Curry and Ellis filled it up combining for 68 points, they only accounted for six assists, none from Monta, against eight turnovers. It’s hard to find fault in Curry’s game tonight when he shot so well, but six assists and five TO’s is not gonna cut it. They have to get the big guys involved, even when the big guys aren’t having a good game.
David Lee is working himself back into game shape, but tonight, he played as if he was still on antibiotics. If he had a shot of penicillin it was the only shot he had, as he finished with eight points, but didn’t attempt one free throw. Lee and Dorell Wright, who played all 48 minutes, need to get to the line not only because they’re good free throw shooters, but because the Warriors starters play so many minutes, they could use the breaks and have some time to stand around and catch their breaths.
The Thunder let the Warriors catch their collective breaths by making free throw after free throw. However, watching the other team shoot 40 free throws is more like getting the wind knocked out of you instead of standing around getting a breather.
And the Warriors shouldn’t have been very tired anyway. They took off the first five minutes of the game, and never recovered.
About the Author
Written by Scott Johnston
Scott Johnston is a longtime Sports TV Producer/Writer from Los Angeles who now lives just outside of Boston. After a long career at KCAL-TV in L.A., where Scott covered such things as Kirk Gibson’s HR, Hank Gathers death, and Magic Johnson’s retirement, NBA ll-Star Game MVP performance and subsequent return to the NBA. His favorite team is the Oakland A’s and whomever happens to be playing the Yankees, USC or the Cowboys on that particular day. Scott left his staff position at KCAL and formed his own small production company in 1996 while continuing to freelance there and at other stations, including WTTG in DC for two years. His company, ProTVSports, started out covering one team during Spring Training in 1997 but now covers six of the Cactus League teams. He also covers tennis and golf events during the year and has had the privilege of covering 5 NBA Finals, including two of the last three. Scott loves all sports, but considers baseball to be his favorite. He loves politcs, reading, movies and his wife and two daughters—not in that order!