OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook had 36 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 118-94 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals and put the defending NBA champions on the brink of elimination.
It was Westbrook’s first triple-double of the playoffs after posting 18 in the regular season. Kevin Durant added 26 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City.
Golden State, which won a league record 73 games in the regular season, lost consecutive games for the first time this season. The Warriors must win Game 5 on Thursday in Oakland to keep their season alive.
Klay Thompson led Golden State with 26 points. Two-time league MVP Stephen Curry was limited to 19 points on 6-for-20 shooting.
Golden State’s Draymond Green, who was fined for kicking Steven Adams in the groin in Game 3, finished with six points, 11 rebounds and six turnovers.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City got a boost from an unlikely source. Andre Roberson, a player the Warriors have ignored at times during the series, scored a career-high 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
The Thunder led 30-26 at the end of the first quarter, then gained control in the second. In the most unlikely of connections, Adams threw a bullet pass to Roberson near the basket for a dunk that gave the Thunder a 56-43 lead with just over four minutes left in the first half.
Oklahoma City finished with a flurry and led 72-53 at halftime. The Thunder matched the most points they have scored in a first half in franchise playoff history, a mark they set the previous game against the Warriors. It also matched the most points Golden State has allowed in a half this season for the second straight game.
Westbrook had 21 points, nine assists and five rebounds in the first half, and Durant had 18 points and six boards.
Curry finished 4 for 14 in the first half. Green had four points and five turnovers and Thompson had four points and three fouls in 12 minutes.
Golden State shot 46 percent from the field in the first half, but Oklahoma City outrebounded the Warriors 28-20 and outscored them 21-9 at the free throw line in the half.
Thompson tried to keep the Warriors in it, scoring 19 points in just over seven minutes to start the third quarter. But the Thunder maintained their composure, led 94-82 at the end of the period and remained in control in the fourth.
According to Thunder Public Relations, the last team to score 72 or more points in the first half of two straight playoff games was the 1987 Los Angeles Lakers.
For more stats on last night’s game check out the full article source: Cliff Brunt,
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