Golden State came back from an 11-point deficit in the first half to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 106-98
On Tuesday night, while heavy weather enveloped the metro region, a different kind of storm brewed inside the Paycom Center. The young Oklahoma City Thunder continued to improve as the NBA season progressed, smothering the Golden State Warriors with a flurry in the first half. The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry, rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to win 106-98.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was placed into the starting lineup in place of veteran big Derrick Favors, and he helped fuel a 16-6 surge to start the game, setting the tone for the Thunder’s finest half of basketball all season.
After the game, Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault remarked of Robinson-Earl, “He’s been unbelievably professional.” “… We believed he had earned the right to go out there.”
Robinson-Earl scored seven points in the first quarter, moving the ball inside and shooting a 3-pointer from outside the paint.
The big man’s early success aided point guard Shai Gilgeous-ability Alexander’s to attack the hoop. Gilgeous-Alexander carried over his second-half performance against Philadelphia to put in his best performance of the season.
Warriors are 4-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season 👀 pic.twitter.com/L0llwFcNJy— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 27, 2021
The 172-million-dollar man from Oklahoma City led the club with 30 points, four rebounds, and four assists.
“He was himself again tonight, especially the first half,” Daigneault said. “He was a handful tonight.”
The Thunder’s quick scoring start gave way to a better defensive showing in the second quarter, when they kept the Warriors’ explosive attack to 19 points.
Lu Dort was particularly effective against Curry, staying in his back pocket the entire night to make life difficult with the former MVP.
“I thought Lu did a great job on Curry,” Daigneault said. “A lot of teams throw two guys at him, but not a lot of teams have Lu Dort.”
The former champions, on the other hand, came alive down the stretch in the third quarter. The Warriors dominated late, outscoring OKC 58-39 in the second half, thanks to a 17-2 surge to end the third period.
Despite the setback, the team’s effort on Tuesday night was the most encouraging of the season.
OKC’s offense seemed to flow naturally at times, particularly early in the game. Josh Giddey appeared more at ease with Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dort’s offensive game blossomed to complement his always-impressive defense.
Dort scored 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists to Giddey’s seven points, nine rebounds, and four assists.
Robinson-Earl finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and an assist to round up his impressive performance. After the game, the remaining Thunder fans gave the youthful team a standing ovation, praising their new core’s increasing performances.
Daigneault said he was delighted the fans enjoyed the show since the squad attempts to represent the city on the court with a blue-collar work ethic.
“Embracing the finish line is something that (the squad) believes in,” Daigneault added.
Oklahoma City won’t have to wait long to get back on the court, as they host LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Paycom Center tomorrow night at 7 p.m.