OAKLAND (KRON) — The Oklahoma City Thunder will be a problem for the Golden State Warriors. They showed it on November 22nd. And they proved it again Tuesday night, beating the Warriors 125-105.
Despite what he says, Russell Westbrook does not treat Golden State like he does any other opponent. Seeing Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry in opposite jerseys drives him to lead the Thunder in positions to win.
Paul George is playing the best basketball of his career. He was the best player on the floor Tuesday. He stole the third quarter and dunked all over Zaza Pachulia. Outside of Durant, he is the best two-way player in the league right now and a serious candidate to win Defensive Player of the Year. He can guard any of the Warriors four All-Stars.
Carmelo Anthony won’t be much a factor in a playoff series between the two teams, but Steven Adams has proven he succeeds against Golden State. He gives Draymond Green problems. Pachulia is practically unplayable against Oklahoma City. Jordan Bell’s athleticism was missed against the Thunder in their last match-up and will be needed for the postseason. JaVale McGee has also proven he can’t guard Adams.
Patrick McCaw has been a liability this season and has yet to develop into the player the Warriors thought he could be when they traded for him during the 2016 draft. Westbrook torched him in the first half.
The Thunder dominated the Warriors in their first match-up of the season by 17 points. And they looked nothing short of spectacular when they entered Oracle Arena Tuesday. Westbrook missed just two shots in the first quarter, finishing with 21 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. Kevin Durant was impressive early as well, scoring 17 in the first quarter.
Through three quarters, The Warriors had 20 turnovers…and just 17 assists. Golden State has now lost three of their last four games, all three of the losses have come against teams they might play in the postseason.
It’s only February, so it’s not a time to panic. However, the Warriors have now been a no-show twice against the Thunder. They’ve also lost the season series to the Houston Rockets, two games to three. While the San Antonio Spurs have faced a downfall this year, it’s clear the Warriors still have tough competition that has had the upper hand against them, at least in the regular season.
The All-Star Break can’t come soon enough.
Make sure you tune into KRON4 Hoop Session for all of your local Bay Area basketball coverage, featuring the Warriors and more. The show airs on February 17 at 11 p.m. on KRON 4.
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