What, us worry? Nah! Ok, maybe a smidge, but we’re feeling a whole lot better about our Warriors after last night’s resoundingly reassuring 118-91 win over the Thunder in another patented three-quarter game.
The start of the game played out much like Game 1’s, with the Warriors leading by 7 after a relatively low-scoring first quarter. Klay carried the team early, scoring 8 of the first 11 Warrior points, while Steph closed the quarter out, scoring 11 of the last 16. There was an early scare for the Dubs when Steph’s pursuit of a loose ball led to this:
Hey, dudes in the third-row, how about not letting the MVP break his fall with his face? Sacrifice your bodies, you fools!
When I get nervous, I bite the skin around my thumbnail. By the end of the second-quarter, I gnawed my thumb down to a bloody little pulp. The Warriors’ second unit expanded the lead to 11 early in the quarter, but slowly, methodically, the Thunder stole pieces of that lead, one Westbrook assisted KD shot after another, until it belonged to them. With two minutes left in the half, the OKC was up, 47-46. It was Game 1’s third-quarter all over again. RIP my thumb.
And then Iggy happened. He drew a foul on a three-point attempt and somehow, miraculously (for him), made all three free-throws. Warriors regained the lead. KD answered, tying the game up. Then a final flurry in the last 90 seconds saw Festus Ezeli score, Klay score, and Iggy score twice, including the greatest layup you ever did see:
Iggy put the Queen’s English, Fritalian, Korean, every damn language on that ball while the rest of us were left speechless.
When the half closed, the Warriors found themselves back on top, up by 8. That final sequence at the end of the half gave the Warriors the cushion they needed before Steph ended the game with a sequence of his own. With about 7:10 left in the third-quarter, the Warriors were up by 7. Two minutes later, they were up by 20. This is how it happened:
7:09: Steph makes a 3.
6:33: Steph drives to the basket, get knocked to the floor by KD, KD steps on Steph, Steph pushes KD’s leg off, springs back up and runs to the 3-point line, shoots while getting knocked to the floor again by KD, who then gets a technical foul. Steph makes the technical foul shot and the three free-throws.
6:22: KD hits for 2.
6:07: Steph makes a 3.
5:47: Steph makes what should have been a 3 (his foot was on the line).
5:11: Steph makes a 3.
That’s 15 points in less than 2 minutes. The game ended right there. The lead eventually swelled to 34 with 5 minutes left in the game and Mo Buckets hilariously scored 13 points in 9 minutes, but it was Steph’s fingerprints all over the dagger. His accomplices were many, with seven Warriors in double-digit scoring, including the aforementioned Iggy with his 14-points off the bench. More impressive, though, was the Warriors rebounding, which was supposed to be OKC’s greatest strength against the smaller Warriors. The Dubs out-rebounded the Thunder 45-36, and outdid them on both the offensive and defensive boards.
This series did not begin the way we would have liked, and the Thunder are still in the catbird seat, having stole homecourt advantage away from the Warriors. But if you’re going to lose one of two at home, this is the best way to do it—a close-but-no-cigar Game 1 loss followed by a demoralizing Game 2 win, stealing the momentum as you head to to OKC. We got this.
Western Conference Finals
Golden State Warriors (1) v. Oklahoma City Thunder (3)
Warriors tied in series 1-1
Game 1: Warriors LOST, 108-102
Game 2: Warriors WON, 118-91
Game 3: Warriors at Oklahoma City, Sunday, May 22, 5 PM, TNT
Game 4: Warriors at Oklahoma City, Tuesday, May 24, 6 PM, TNT
Game 5: Warriors at home, Thursday, May 26, 6 PM, TNT
Game 6: Warriors at Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 28, 6 PM, TNT
Game 7: Warriors at home, Monday, May 30, 6 PM, TNT