NBA Recap: OKC’s Gallinari Grants No Mercy for Golden State

Oklahoma City Thunder Media Day

Gallinari fired off three after three with seemingly minimal effort throughout, pulling in 21 points by the end of the night, shooting at 45.5%.

Whilst OKC’s small forward had piled eight points onto the board in under three minutes Golden State stumbled behind, hesitating on open shots as Steph Curry hit all of the Warriors’ meagre six points in over four minutes of game time. 

Draymond Green had a particularly rough night shooting, fumbling the ball out of bounds early as successive three-point attempts came in short.

Billy Donovan, Thunder’s Head Coach, sought a quicker offence following Saturday’s loss to the Wizards to break apart any physical defence, their vice so far this season. On offence, Steve Adams’ persistence under the basket drew in the Warriors defence and saw him hit an ‘and one’ early on. The OKC centre finished with eight points, nine rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes of game time.

Oklahoma’s Dennis Schroder also brought the heat, hitting a three and, despite fouling Curry in the next play giving the opposition two free throws, he continued to perform all game, finishing with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 25 minutes of play. The home team’s top scorer for the night shot at 69.2% FG and 50% 3P.

With 38 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Chris Paul demonstrated unbelievable IQ, drawing in a foul for which he then superseded, firing off a three with only four seconds to go. Paul racked up 10 points, three rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes on court.

Heading into the second quarter, GSW attempted to zone in on OKC’s offence, double-teaming Gallinari to break his shot, but a quick assist to Nerlens Noel for an alley-oop showed he had other plans. The Warrior’s defence soon crumbled to match their offence, with noticeable space on the floor for OKC to operate.

Hamidou Diallo had his own mini-rally in the second, saving a failed no-look pass by Schroder to shoot a corner three, followed by back-to-back lay-ups. Golden State rounded up the quarter with 12 turnovers and a 70-37 deficit – their worst since March 1997. 

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

Early in the third quarter Terrance Ferguson was called for a reach-in foul on Curry who simultaneously received a technical of his own for swinging his arm back into Ferguson. This was only the beginning of GSW’s troubles as D’Angelo Russel blew up in an official face for a no-call on a drive. The confrontation led to a technical and subsequent ejection from the game as his campaigning persisted.

The Warriors had resorted to full-court defence by this point to combat OKC’s snappy offence, to no avail. Oklahoma’s pace fractured the visitor’s structure as an eager rookie, Darius Bazley, capitalised with a three. A further three by Gallinari forced GSW into a timeout, the third closed at 105-68, with OKC hitting 35 points in each quarter. 

Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 19 points and nine rebounds, he made some tough layups in the fourth as the home team leant on the security of the point margin. The Warriors allowed the Thunder to shoot 56 per cent from the field and 46.9% from the three compared to their own 15.2%. Curry was the only player to score 20+ as his teammates failed to break the 10-point barrier.

Next up, GSW face the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, while OKC come up against Westbrook for the first time against Houston.

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