Thunder lead series 1-0
The Oklahoma City Thunder looked overmatched for all of 24 minutes in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals before proving emphatically that they not only belong with the Golden State Warriors, but have a chance to beat the defending champs. The Thunder will try to take a 2-0 lead in the series when they visit the Warriors for Game 2 on Wednesday.
Oklahoma City faced a 13-point halftime deficit after committing 10 turnovers and struggling to defend Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the first half. The Thunder cut that number to two turnovers after the break and refused to bend to Golden State’s lineup changes, leaving centers Steven Adams and Enes Kanter in the game despite the Warriors going small. “In the second half, we did a much, much better job,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan told reporters. “We took better care of the basketball, which enabled us to get back in transition, and I think probably play better defense.” The Warriors went 6-of-23 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including 1-of-10 from 3-point range, and got a combined three points from Curry and Thompson in the decisive period.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, TNT
LINE HISTORY: The point spread for this Western Conference Final Game 2 opened Monday night with the Warriors pegged as 8.5-point favorites. The total opened at 221.5. At the time of publishing this preview on Tuesday night neither the spread or the total have moved. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (64-30, 45-48-1 ATS, 45-49 O/U): Oklahoma City proved it had no trouble playing in hostile environments when it took two games at San Antonio in the conference semifinals and now has a chance to take the first two games of the conference finals on the road against a team that dropped only two home games during the regular season. Westbrook exploded for 19 points in the third quarter to pull the Thunder within 88-85 and Durant broke out of a shooting slump with a jumper off the dribble from the top of the key with 30.7 seconds left that put the game away. “We’re a resilient group,” Durant said. “We just keep fighting till the end. “We’re sticking to who we are as a team.”
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (81-12, 52-39-2 ATS, 50-42-1 O/U): Golden State lamented its lack of patience on the offensive end in the fourth quarter and hoisted up too many quick shots instead of running the offense. “Our preparation won’t change,” Warriors forward Draymond Green told reporters. “I’m sure we’ll have a light practice (Tuesday) like we always do, we’ll watch some film, we’ll get ready to go for Wednesday. It’s not like some things happened that we know couldn’t happen. I think our defensive game plan was pretty good – really good. Offensively we sucked, so we know that’s something that we know what was the cause of it and that we can improve on, but our preparation won’t change.” Golden State has yet to lose consecutive games this season.
* Thunder are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
* Warriors are 7-2 ATS in their last 8 home games.
* Under is 5-1 in Thunder last 5 Conference Finals games.
* Under is 6-1 in Warriors last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Golden State.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Following their successful trip to Oracle Arena in Game 1, the Thunder are getting 56 percent of the public love. As for the total, the Covers wagering public continues to pound the Over – in this case at a rate of 61 percent. View full consensus data here.
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