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Thunder diced by Warriors 136-97 as Steph Curry posts 49

With Thursday’s leading scorer Ty Jerome out, Oklahoma City entered their baseball set-closer against Golden State shorthanded. The Thunder gutted out a valiant effort, but they simply could not handle the firepower, collapsing 136-97. Oklahoma City reclaimed their fourth-best lottery odd status in the loss with a 21-47 record. Golden State pivoted to the eight-seed in the West with the win, now resting a game above the Memphis Grizzlies with a 35-33 record. 

Steph Curry started right where he left off from last game hitting two straight triples to begin the game — but Oklahoma City responded. The Thunder put an emphasis on Darius Bazley to start the game as he accounted for 7 of the team’s first 11 points through drive-and-dish opportunities. The Thunder held back the Warriors in the first four minutes, but as Steph Curry received the ball, nothing seemed to matter. Curry sounded off 11 points in the first five minutes, prompting Mark Daigneault to initiate a timeout down 15-11. Golden State went right back to arch off the timeout, netting two straight threes from Steph Curry, and Draymond Green. After a 21-13 Warriors lead, Oklahoma City was caught playing catch-up. The Thunder drew their deficit down to four several times in the closing minutes, but Steph tallying Golden State’s last 12 points — they were down 37-25. Steph Curry almost singlehandedly outscored the Thunder, playing the first quarter’s entirety for 24 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Curry locked in from the three early, nailing his first trio of makes outside, ending the horn on a 5-of-7 showing. To make the wounds even deeper, the Baby-face Assassin drilled 7-of-7 tries from the line, Oklahoma City only attempted 5. 

With no Ty Jerome, Mark Daigneault got creative to start the second. Daigneault surfaced an opening lineup of Kenrich Williams, Svi Mykhailiuk, Josh Hall, Jaylen Hoard, and Gabriel Deck in a group that nails “positionless basketball” to a tee. The Thunder’s mix-and-match rotation boded well against the Warriors in the early portions as everyone received ample ball-handling duties, but an 11-4 Golden State push (which included three triples) mounted themselves up 55-35 right under the midway point. Oklahoma City doused an 8-2 spurt in response, but with Golden State returning with five straight, the bridge was snapped. The Thunder coerced a collection of high-effort plays to end the half, including a one-handed Isaiah Roby posterizer, the Warriors finished must stronger, concluding the frame on a 10-0 run en route to a 73-48 lead.

Golden State’s 25-point lead by half marked their largest lead of the game as with a 54-percent shooting clip, they trampled Oklahoma City’s 30-percent hit rate. For the Warriors, their half-lived and died from the three. Steph Curry set the precedent for his teammates, capping the half with 27 points going 6-of-10 from distance. Draymond Green hit more threes in his 18-minute starter than he had in the last 20 days raining down three triples at the top of the key, sitting at 15 total points. Oklahoma City’s offense never centralized with no reliable offense, open shots were hard to come by. Lu Dort led the team with 12 points (4-of-10 FG) in 14 minutes, but with a grimacing look at the half, it looked like the sophomore may not return with his lingering patellar injury. 

Lu Dort luckily returned for the second half — but so did Steph Curry. Curry jolted right back into action driving the Thunder up 30 after two minutes. Curry turned into a video game character early sinking a 32-foot jumper before pulling up just inside the logo for a rainbow 35-foot three, swish. Curry continued to play on another dimension making any shot he looked at including half-court heaves after he’d already been hacked, and of course, it was nothing but net. Steph Curry outscored the entire Thunder roster in the third 22-19 lifing the Warriors up 106-67 headed into the fourth. Steph Curry’s 22-point period consisted of his teammates waiting with the basketball until Curry became open off a variety of off-ball screens and pull-ups. 

The fourth quarter saw both coaches tap into the back-end of their rotations for the majority of the minutes. Just as displayed in the first three quarters, the Warriors bench was boiling from downtown pushing out a lead as large as 48 with a 7-of-11 going from three. 

Steph Curry proved why he’s regarded as one of the greats, ending this game with 49 points (14-26 FG) in 29 minutes. Curry toyed with the defense all night letting off a double-teamed triple over Darius Bazley and Jaylen Hoard behind the left hash turning up the jets. On the very next drive, Curry took the ball into transition off a miss, getting fouled by Theo Maledon right inside the logo before launching the ball after the fact — in. Curry’s 11-of-21 showing from an outside shed right off into his teammates as they sunk 27 threes on 54 attempts as everyone but Kevon Looney buried a triple in the ten-man rotation.

Oklahoma City never had a footing in this game, through an individual, or overall. The Thunder just grazed the 40-percent mark in this game, but with the Warriors shooting in the high fifties (58-percent), it was treacherous by comparison. Matters only worsened as Oklahoma City tried to match Golden State’s prominence from outside running a lowly 9-of-37 (24.3%) recording. 

Svi Mykhailiuk led the Thunder with 17 points shooting 7-of-16 to get there. Mykhaliuk’s game typically is reserved to the three, but with a 2-of-7 clip, the Kansas product had to grind inside for the majority of buckets. Lu Dort couldn’t recreate his 12-point first half racking up just 4 points in the final 24 for 16 points. Dort’s body of work consisted of a 5-of-13 going overall but on the bright side, his three makes from downtown led all Thunder members. 

Oklahoma City’s roster saw a mixture of four different members scathing double-digits. Kenrich Williams and Jaylen Hoard tapped out 13 points each off the bench, paving efficient roles given the circumstances. Williams shot 6-of-9 in the game while being the point man off the bench for a team-high 5 assists. Hoard placed 5 makes in 11 tries going a blank 0-of-3 from distance. Hoard’s knack for penetrating has been apparent in his appearances so this extended run was more or less the sophomore’s big break. Darius Bazley and Theo Maledon shot 33-percent each en route to 11 and 10-point games. Bazley misfired on his trio of threes while also struggling to assert himself inside. For Maledon, he did an excellent job of getting into open space for catch-and-shoot opportunities, but he never finished the job — ending the game 2-of-8 outside.

Oklahoma City will take a 2-hour bus ride to face the Sacramento Kings tomorrow at 9 pm CST. 

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