GM Feature

Warriors-Thunder Lives Up To The Hype

With the Warriors as the clear front-runners to win the 2016 NBA Championship, there are only a few teams that really have a sliver of hope to knock them off. The Thunder happen to be one of the 3 or 4 teams with actual aspirations to win the NBA Championship this season. Being that the game was in Oklahoma City, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for the Thunder to make a statement against one of the best teams the league has ever seen.

There was tons of anticipation surrounding this match-up, but I think it’s safe to say the game exceeded all expectations.

The star power for both teams came to play. Curry and Thompson combined for 78 points, while Durant and Westbrook combined for 63. The Thunder controlled the game most of the way, thanks to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

But that didn’t stop Steph Curry from doing Steph Curry things…

There was a scare for Warriors fans in the 2nd half. Russell Westbrook landed on Steph Curry’s ankle, shown below.

At first glance, it didn’t look good for Curry. I can’t explain how, but Steph Curry returned un-phased. Then again, I can’t explain how Curry does half the things he does. Even with Curry’s return to the floor a few minutes later, it looked like the Warriors were going to take their 6th loss of the season. But then, the improbable (or the inevitable?) happened. Kevin Durant threw the ball away in the closing seconds of regulation. Draymond Green saved the ball from going out of bounds, and then Kevin Durant fouled Iggy on a jump shot at the buzzer, shown below.

Iggy went on to drain both free throws, and sent the game to overtime.

In the first minute of OT, Kevin Durant fouled out – finishing with a respectable 37 points. The game was tied at 118 with roughly 5 seconds left, and it looked as if the game was headed to double overtime. We all know by now that the game did not go into double overtime though, thanks to Steph Curry draining this INSANE game winning 3-pointer.

With the 121-118 win over the Thunder, the Warriors move that much closer to the Bulls 72-10 record.

Without Steph Curry, we would probably be talking about how Tim Duncan moved up in the NBA record books last night. He is now 6th in rebounds and 5th in blocks. But, Steph Curry entered the NBA record books last night in a plethora of ways as well:

  • Stephen Curry is the first player in NBA history to hit 10+ threes in consecutive games.
  • Steph Curry broke his single season NBA record for most 3-pointers (288 and counting)…with 23 games left to play in the season. He is on pace for 411 3-Pointers this season.
  • Steph Curry hit 12 3-pointers – tying the NBA record for most 3’s in a game, but in 2 less shots than Kobe.

With this win over the Thunder, the Warriors have clinched a playoff spot with 23 games left in the season…it’s still February. Golden State also improves to 53-5, and stay one game ahead of the Chicago Bulls’ record pace.

The Thunder certainly had the game in the bag, but should not be discouraged. If anything, this proves that they can actually compete with the Warriors. May the basketball gods allow us to see these two Western Conference powerhouses meet in the playoffs.

NBA players and other celebrities responded to this game (well, mostly about Steph Curry) on Twitter:

LeBron James

Baron Davis

Magic Johnson

DeMar DeRozan

Damian Lillard

Kevin Hart

https://twitter.com/KevinHart4real/status/703800697444110336

Jared Dudley

Kyle Lowry

Me just watching that game just now!! Lol #karterkinglowry

A photo posted by Kyle Lowry (@kyle_lowry7) on

Wally Szczerbiak

Kristaps Porzingis

 

 

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