Still without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder had a big talent deficit against the team with the second-best record in the league but Mark Daigneault’s players continued to fight until the end, even returning to two possessions less than three minutes from the end of the match.
After an unconvincing first quarter, the Warriors raised their voices before halftime. Their defense limits the Thunder to 36% success on shots and causes seven loss of balls while the Kuminga – Wiggins – Poole trio launches a 21-8 which gives their team a 12-point lead (51-39).
Despite 13 points from Darius Bazley in the third quarter, the Thunder could not come back below the bar of ten lengths. Klay Thompson even allows the Warriors to take a sixteen-point lead (70-54). As Golden State appears to be heading for an easy win, Josh Giddey and Lu Dortz launch the Thunder’s comeback.
Aggressive, the Australian launched an 8-0 which brought OKC down to -5 with less than three minutes to play (101-96). It is however an old acquaintance of the local fans, Klay Thompson, who plays the firefighters on duty by scoring two award-winning shots which come to destroy the hopes of the Thunder.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga, 1-2 electric punch. For several games, Jordan Poole seems to have found his groove as the Warriors’ luxury sixth man. That night, Jonathan Kuminga got up to speed by attacking the Thunder defense. Overpowered, the rookie attacked the circle and caused many faults against a defense without response to his physical qualities. Poole was also aggressive but he continues his progress in reading the game, alternating scoring and creating brilliantly.
– 18 offensive rebounds for the Thunder. Dominated by the second-best team in the league, the Thunder managed to stay in ambush, however, relentlessly attacking the offensive rebound when Steve Kerr played small, with Jonathan Kuminga in 5. Mark Daigneault’s men indeed took 15 from their 18 offensive rebounds in the second and fourth quarters. If OKC finally took 18 more shots than the Warriors, the latter were still more effective by scoring 14 points on “second chances” against only 9 for their opponent.
– Klay Thompson continues to progress. In addition to his two banderillas who pushed back the comeback of the Thunder at the end of the match, the Splash Brother recorded his biggest playing time since his return, with 29 minutes spent on the floor. Steve Kerr had also announced before the meeting that Thompson could now play 30 minutes per game. The Warriors trigger therefore continues to pass the important stages since his return to competition and the staff of Golden State could lift any restrictions on playing time by the end of February.
✅ Stephen Curry. Targeted by the Thunder defense, Curry did not force, preferring to play his teammates. He scored 18 points, taking only 12 shots, but delivered 10 assists and grabbed 9 rebounds.
✅ Clay Thompson. Awkward at the start of the game, the Splash Brother nevertheless finished as his team’s top scorer with 21 points, including 10 in the last quarter.
✅ Jordan Poole – Jonathan Kuminga. Both players were decisive off the bench, keeping the pressure on the opposing defense. Poole, like Curry, came close to a triple-double (11 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists) while Kuminga scored 16 points, gave 4 assists, and took 4 rebounds.
✅ Josh Giddey. In the absence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey blackened the game sheet with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists. We understand why he is the best rookie in the West since the start of the season.
✅ Lu Dortz. Despite his awkwardness from a distance, Dortz showed great dispositions to attack the circle. He finished as the team’s top scorer with 26 points.
⛔ Theo Maledon. In ten minutes of play, the French leader was transparent, taking no shots and losing 2 balls. Sad season for him…
⛔ Andre Iguodala. Returning after missing eight games, Iggy only played six minutes and alas had to leave his partners due to back pain. His physical worries begin to worry Steve Kerr.
Golden State (41-13): the Warriors will look for a tenth straight victory in Salt Lake City on Wednesday against the Jazz.
Oklahoma City (17-36): the Thunder will try to react Wednesday against the Raptors.