Thunder one win from Finals after Game 4 blowout
(The Sports Xchange) - The Oklahoma City Thunder moved within one victory of the NBA Finals after beating the Golden State Warriors 118-94 in Game Four on Tuesday.
Russell Westbrook collected 36 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as Oklahoma City grabbed a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals, thanks in large part to Westbrook's first triple-double of the postseason.
Defending champions Golden State will attempt to stay alive on Thursday at home in Game 5.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant scored 26 points on 8-of-24 shooting to go with 11 rebounds. Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson each scored 17 points, while Steven Adams posted 11 points and seven boards.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 26 points. League MVP Stephen Curry was held to 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting, and he and Thompson combined to make just six of 21 3-point attempts. Harrison Barnes posted 11 points in the loss.
The Warriors lost back-to-back games for the first time in the postseason after never losing consecutive games in the regular season during their record-setting, 73-win campaign. They fell by a combined 52 points over the two games in Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Durant came out of the blocks on the attack. Instead of settling for jump shots and 3-pointers, he started the night driving the ball to the rim and forcing the Warriors to foul him.
Durant and Westbrook were a combined 12-for-12 from the line in the first half. As a team, the Warriors only attempted 17 free throws in the opening two quarters.
The Warriors, who fell behind by 14, got back into the game without their superstars leading the way. It was the play of Barnes and Festus Ezeli that helped Golden State close the gap to two midway through the second quarter. Continued...