NBA Western Conference Finals Game Three: Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder

2016 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Finals – Game #3
#1 Golden State Warriors at #3 Oklahoma City Thunder
Best of Seven Series Tied 1-1
Sunday, May 22, 2016, 8:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Opening Line: Golden State -3
Current Line: Golden State -3 (-105)
Opening Total: 219 1/2
Current Total: 220 1/2
Opening Money Line: Warriors -150 / Thunder +130
Current Money Line: Warriors -150 / Thunder +130

The Thunder and warriors meet in game three of the Western Conference Finals Sunday night in OKC with the series tied 1-1.
The Thunder and warriors meet in game three of the Western Conference Finals Sunday night in OKC with the series tied 1-1.

The Oklahoma City Thunder upset the Golden State Warriors 108-102 in game one of the Western Conference Finals. The warriors rebounded by crushing the Thunder 118-91 in game two Wednesday night. Now, the series switches to Oklahoma City for the next two games, starting with game three Sunday night.

In game two, Golden State was a 9 point favorite and the total was 223. The Warriors had not lost two straight games since going down 2-1 in last year’s NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They would continue that trend against OKC. The Thunder hung around until late in the first half trailing only by eight at halftime. However, in the third Golden State outscored them 31-19, including 17 points from two time MVP Steph Curry. He dove after a loose ball into the stands and landed awkwardly on his elbow in the first half. Despite the elbow being swollen to the size of a tennis ball, he stayed in the game. He ended up with 28 points which was also the margin of victory. OKC had 16 turnovers to 12 for Golden State. The Warriors had 54 rebounds to 45 for the Thunder. Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook had 16 for the Thunder.

Golden State is coached by Steve Kerr. Kerr won the NBA coach of the year award despite missing almost half the season recovering from back surgery. The Warriors set an NBA record for wins in the regular season with a 73-9 record. They won the Pacific Division by 20 games over the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors beat the Houston Rockets in five games in the first round. The Warriors then beat the Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the second round. Two time MVP Stephen Curry suffered knee and ankle injuries in the first round against the Rockets and missed six games in the playoffs. He returned for the last two games against the Blazers. Golden State is the defending NBA Champion. Golden State is 53-39-2 ATS and the total is 50-43-1.

Oklahoma City is coached by Billy Donovan. Oklahoma City is 55-27 and won the Northwest Division by 11 games over the Portland Trail Blazers and were the #3 seed in the West. OKC is 45-49-3 ATS and the total is 44-51 this season. The Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks in five games in the first round. All four Thunder wins in the series were by double digits. After getting crushed by the Spurs in game one by 32 points, OKC won four of the next five games to win the series in six. The Thunder are in the Conference Finals for the third time in the last six seasons, after missing the playoffs last year.

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Golden State is outscoring teams 114-103 in the playoffs. The Warriors are shooting 48% from the field and 40.7% from three point range. Golden State makes 74.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40.6% from the field and 35.4% from three point range. The Warriors average 45.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 45.6 as well. Golden State averages 27.1 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 8 steals and 6.4 blocks per game. Opponents average 19.9 assists, 16 turnovers, 7.6 steals and 4.3 blocks per game.

Klay Thompson averages 27.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game in the playoffs. Curry averages 24.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. He is probable with the elbow injury. Draymond Green averages 17.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. Shaun Livingston averages 11.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Harrison Barnes, Andre Igoudala, Marreese Speights, Leandro Barbosa, Andrew Bogut and Ian Clark will also get minutes in the rotation. Bogut is probable with a hip injury.  Kevon Looney is out for the season with a hip injury.

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Oklahoma City is outscoring teams 106-98 in the playoffs. The Thunder are #3 in scoring in the playoffs. OKC is shooting 46.9% from the field and 33.9% from three point range. Oklahoma City makes 79.7% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 44.9% from the field and 34.1% from three point range. OKC averages 46.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 36.5 per game. Oklahoma City averages 20.2 assists, 13.9 turnovers, 6.9 steals and 4.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 20.9 assists, 10.9 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.

Kevin Durant averages 27.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists during the playoffs. Russell Westbrook averages 25.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 10.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He had 18 triple doubles this season to tie Magic Johnson in 1981-82 for the most in the last last 40 seasons. Center Enes Kanter averages 11.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Forward Serge Ibaka averages 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1.4 blocks per game. Steven Adams averages 10.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Dion Waiters averages 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal per game. Randy Foye, Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow, Nick Collison, and Andre Roberson will also get minutes in the rotation.

Golden State is 4-0 ATS in Sunday games, 5-1 after a double digit win, 10-4 overall and against Western Conference teams, and 11-5 on three or more days rest. The Warriors are 3-1-1 ATS against the Thunder this season and were favored in each of those games. Four of the last five games in this series have gone under the total, but the over is 6-1 between the teams in OKC.

Oklahoma City is 5-0 ATS after a loss, 4-0 after a double digit loss, 5-1 after failing to cover, 4-1 against teams with winning records, against Western Conference teams, and overall, 7-3-1 against teams with winning road records, 3-9 in Sunday games. The home team is 8-1-1 ATS in this series recently. The Thunder are 3-0-1 ATS at home against the Warriors recently.

For the Thunder to be successful, Durant and Westbrook simply have to play better. They also need to play better defense and win the battle of the boards. Getting help from the supporting cast like Adams, Kanter and Waiters will also be a positive. Still, I think Golden State is a better team and wins a close game on the road to regain home court.

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