In what was essentially a must-win game for the defending champs, the Warriors rediscovered their swagger to blow out the Thunder 118-91 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals and even the series at 1-1.
Throughout Game 1 and for the first half of Game 2, the Thunder showed great resilience in terms of being able to weather the storm against the Warriors’ torrential scoring spurts. It helps to have Kevin Durant, who after an inefficient outing in Game 1, went off for 23 points in the first half Wednesday night on 9-of-13 shooting.
Still, Golden State runs are both inevitable and demoralizing. OKC was able to keep things interesting for a spell – and even briefly held the lead – until the last two minutes of the first half when the Warriors went on a blistering 11-2 run to close out the quarter, the highlight of which was an acrobatic and-1 layup by Andre Iguodala. But the worst was yet to come.
After scoring 11 points in the opening period, Steph Curry was mysteriously and disconcertingly quiet as he went scoreless for the entire second quarter and part of the third. But it doesn’t take much to get the reigning MVP going. During one stretch midway through the third quarter, Curry caught fire and scored 15 straight points and 17 overall in the period (on 5-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-4 from downtown) to help push the lead to 88-68 going into the final frame.
Meanwhile, OKC’s superstar duo went subarctic.
Westbrook, in particular, looked uncharacteristically disengaged the entire game. He had 16 points and 12 assists but shot just 5-of-14 overall, including 1-of-5 from the three-point line, and was a team-worst minus-27 for the night. Durant, likewise, was held to just six points in the second half and finished with 29 points and six rebounds but was responsible for eight of the Thunder’s 15 turnovers. He and Westbrook were the only two OKC players in double figures.
The Warriors’, conversely, got a balanced attack as they had seven players score in double digits. Curry led the way with 28 points, while Draymond Green had a solid all-around game with 10 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, a pair of blocks and a steal.
Both teams will get a little bit of a breather as the series shifts to Oklahoma City for Game 3 on Sunday. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.