Oklahoma City Thunder at Golden State Warriors (-8.5, 222.5 o/u)
Perhaps you heard that the Golden State Warriors (8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) set a new NBA record for best regular season of all-time this year (73-9). A big part of their historic run was their ability to bounce back from off nights, and that’s exactly what they’ll need to do this evening when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder (9-3, 8-4 ATS) in Game 2 of the Western Conference final (9:00 PM Eastern at Oracle Arena).
The Thunder took a 1-0 series lead and stole home-court advantage thanks to the Warriors going cold late in Game 1. Now Steph Curry and company need to stave off their first two-game losing streak of the year or they’ll be heading to OKC in a massive 2-0 hole.
The Warriors offense was rolling early in Game 1, scoring 60 points in the first half, but nothing was falling in the second half, especially the fourth quarter, and the Thunder went onto a 108-102 win.
Curry (26 points, 9 of 22 from the field) and Klay Thompson (25 points, 11 of 25 from the field) had decent nights, but it wasn’t enough to match OKC’s own dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (26 and 27 points respectively).
Durant and Westbrook weren’t exactly consistent. Durant missed seven attempts in a row at one point, and Westbrook had 19 of his 27 points in the third quarter. But they were better in the clutch.
For the Thunder, the win was the third straight on the road in the playoffs. Even more impressively, those three wins came against two teams (the Spurs and Warriors) who lost just three home games combined all year.
The turnover battle was a big part of OKC’s comeback bid. After committing six turnovers in the first quarter, the Thunder cleaned things up, finishing the game with just 12 (versus 14 for Golden State). OKC was also able to hang with the Warriors from beyond the arc, getting outscored by just nine from deep.
That said, the second half of Game 1 came out of nowhere, and I don’t expect the Warriors to be that cold again. After all, they’ve never stayed frosty for long this year. The spread is a big 8.5 at the moment, but I like the Warriors to pour it on in a must-win Game 2.
Pick: Warriors (-8.5)
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (Andre Iguodala) CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)