2016 NBA Playoffs
Western Conference Finals – Game #2
#3 Oklahoma City Thunder at #1 Golden State Warriors
Thunder leads Best of Seven Series 1-0
Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 9:05 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Oracle Arena- Oakland, California
Opening Line: Golden State -8 (-115)
Current Line: Golden State -8 1/2 (-115)
Opening Total: 222
Current Total: 222 1/2
Opening Money Line: Warriors -425 / Thunder +345
Current Money Line: Warriors -440 / Thunder +350
During the regular season, the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio spurs combined for only three losses at home. Well, the Oklahoma City Thunder have won three straight road games against those two teams. The Thunder stole home court advantage in the Western Conference Finals with a 108-102 victory in game one against the Warriors Monday night. The Warriors look to even the series before it switches to Oklahoma City Sunday night for game three. Golden State hasn’t lost two straight games since the NBA finals last year when they trailed 2-1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers before winning the series in six games.
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 45-48-3 ATS and the total is 44-50 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.
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.
In game one, Golden State was a 7.5 point favorite and the total was 225. The Warriors led by 13 at halftime and looked well on their way to beating the Thunder for the fourth straight time this season. However, the second half was a different story. Russell Westbrook scored 19 points in the third quarter as the Thunder outscored the Warriors 38-28. In the fourth both teams star players were ice cold. Kevin Durant missed nine straight field goal attempts in the fourth for OKC. Curry scored only three points in the fourth quarter. In fact, Golden State scored only 14 points in the quarter. The Thunder led by as many as 8 points but won by six. Westbrook finished with 27 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds and 7 steals. Durant had 26 points on 10/30 shooting with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams combined for 23 rebounds. Curry scored 26 points on 9/22 shooting, including 6/14 on three pointers. He also has 10 rebounds and 7 assists but also had 7 turnovers. Klay Thompson scored 25 points and Draymond Green had 23 points for the Warriors.
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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.
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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. Draymond Green averages 17.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. He is probable with an ankle injury. 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.
Oklahoma City is 4-0 ATS against teams with winning records, overall, against Western Conference teams, and on one day rest, 7-1 against teams with winning home records, 6-1 in road games, 4-1 in Wednesday games, and 5-2 after allowing 100 points or more. The under is 4-0 in this series in Oakland recently.
Golden State is 6-1 ATS in Wednesday games, after failing to cover and against teams with winning road records, 7-2 at home, 9-4 overall and against Western Conference teams, and 51-25-2 after a straight up loss. The home team is 7-1-1 ATS in this series recently. The Warriors are 4-1 ATS at home against the Thunder.
After blowing 14 fourth quarter leads in the regular season, including three times to the Warriors, the Thunder might have figured out how to close games. That has been their Achilles’ heel and the reason many dismissed them as true championship contenders. This is a virtual must win for Golden State as they don’t want to go to OKC down 2-0. I don’t think Durant or Curry will be cold again. I think the Warriors earn a split with a close game.