Cleat Geeks

Warriors Throttle OKC, Even Series At 1

Game 2 started very similarly to Game 1. It was touch and go for a while, with the Warriors holding a small lead for a good portion of the first half.StephCurryintoTheStands

A play at the end of the first quarter could have permanently changed the complexion of the remainder of the series. Steph Curry went airborne over the first row chasing a loose ball along the left sideline. Oakland would then hold its collective breath for the next minute or so. As Steph Curry laid between the first and second row at Oracle Wednesday night, the Warriors playoff hopes laid right beside him. Curry would eventually make it back on his feet, and would continue to play on, leading the Warriors to a 118-91 Game 2 victory.

Westbrook and Durant played tough, almost angry, during the first half. Westbrook attacked the lane with reckless abandon. Durant hit contested shots from mid-range and downtown, to the tune of 16 second quarter points.

As the game wore on, the Thunder took their first lead, 47-46, with a minute and change left in the first half. The lead would be short lived.

Andre Iguodala was fouled by Ibaka on a 3 attemptiguodala2-750x400.

Iguodala made a circus like shot for a 3 point play opportunity with 39.5 seconds left.

A few careless plays by OKC turned their one point lead into a 57-49 halftime deficit.

The beginning of the second half felt like it had the makings of another battle. Then, something snapped inside of Steph Curry. There was the hitting an uncontested 3 from the left wing. Then the ball faking Ibaka in the air, escape dribbling and stroking the bomb. He even turned to Ibaka to talk smack before the ball went in! Who does that?! Curry took a transition long 2 (meant to be a 3) that also splashed the nylon. He scored 15 points in 3 plus minutes, effectively turning the game into a blowout.

What happened the remainder of the game was mostly cosmetic, as the Warriors took an 88-68 advantage into the final frame.

Curry would finish with 28 points on 15 shots in 30 minutes. Klay had 15 and Iguodala strengthened the bench unit with a 14 point effort.

So where will this series go next? Will we all be subjected to talking heads on sports networks tomorrow proclaiming OKC’s death? Will there be the same knee jerk reactions we tend to see every time a team loses?

Game 1 was a classic. The Warriors couldn’t pull it out, but it was a classic. It was a game of runs, of phenomenal sequences, high dramatics, and of course, finger pointing at the refs over blown calls.okcWesternFinals

OKC got game 1. They effectively took home court. But does anyone really believe that the Warriors won’t steal a game in Oklahoma? This thing will be a battle. The whole series is going to be nip and tuck. One minute we will think OKC has the advantage, and the next minute we will be convinced that the Warriors are poised for another Finals run.

There is a chance that this could be the best Conference Finals we have seen in years. It will be highly competitive, full of ups and downs, and long. This is going 6 or 7. Nobody will run away with this one.

Shouldn’t we all as basketball fans be enjoying this? With some of the postseason play being as putrid as we have seen, lets embrace this battle. I am firmly secured on the side of the Warriors. But perhaps more importantly, I want to see something I will remember in 10 years. Something I will one day tell my grandkids about. Something that will make me feel a myriad of emotions. I want to be able to tell stories when I’m an old man about how Steph Curry and Russell Westbrook tried to tear each other’s head off back in 2016.

Something tells me we could be watching a classic in the making. As a fan of basketball, I’m soaking this up for everything it’s worth.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pray to the basketball Gods for 5 more games.

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