Golden State Warriors (-2.5, 220 o/u) at Oklahoma City Thunder
There are some things the Oklahoma City Thunder (9-4, 4-2 home) just won’t be able to control when going up against the Golden State Warriors (9-3, 2-2 road): Steph Curry’s 15-point outburst in less than two minutes was one of those. As the series shifts back to OKC, the Thunder need to get back to focusing on what they can control, things like the glass.
Can they bruise their way to a Game 3 win and another series lead? We’ll find out tomorrow night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena (8:00 PM Eastern).
Game 2 marked the first meeting all year in which the Warriors out-rebounded the Thunder, grabbing 45 boards (15 offensive) to OKC’s 36 (seven offensive). It was truly a team effort, as no one on Golden State finished in double-digits. Steven Adams once again led the way for the Thunder on the glass, but the New Zealander continued to take more punishment for his efforts.
The Warriors also changed up their looks on the defensive end, sending a ton of bodies after Kevin Durant on the wing. Golden State forced KD into eight turnovers while attempting just 18 field goals in the game. It didn’t help that Russell Westbrook wasn’t his usual alpha-self: the point guard did notch 12 assists, but scored just 16 points off five of 14 shooting from the field.
The Thunder play such a tight rotation that Durant, Westbrook and Adams all need to be at the top of their game if OKC is going to regain the series lead. Meaningful contributions from Enes Kanter and Dion Waiters off the bench would also help.
For Golden State, this team has always found someone to step up and make shots when it counts. On a rare off night for Curry; Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or Andre Iguodala are all capable of carrying the load.
It will be another tough task for the Thunder to win, even if they do have home-court. But this team is 8-5 against the spread in the playoffs, and are 8-2 straight up at home immediately following a road loss. Take OKC to shock the Warriors again and really make this a series.
Pick: Thunder (+2.5).
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (Flickr: Kevin Durant) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)