By Michael Kinney
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant wants his team to stay focused. Whether it’s dealing with bad calls from refs or taking big leads in games and not letting up, he wants Oklahoma City to never stop fighting.
Durant got what he wanted Sunday in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. After the Thunder took a large lead against Golden State, they never let up and poured out a 133-105 victory at the Chesapeake Energy Arena to take a two-games-to-one lead in the series.
“When you get to this point in the season, you have to be a smart team,” Durant said. “We can’t let anything district you. That’s always been like the mantra. Just got to not worry, not try to let anything distract us. I think everybody just stayed together and we just kept playing. Tonight, we just kept our foot on the gas and just kept cruising.”
The 133 points are a Thunder playoff record and the most points scored by any team this postseason.
Durant scored 33 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and 12-of-12 from the free-throw line to go along with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Russell Westbrook tallied 30 points and 12 assists, and he was two rebounds away from his first triple-double of the postseason.
“My job as a guard is to get those guys shots and trust in those guys,” Westbrook said. “Got to keep the same intensity. Stay in attack mode. Find my spots, pick my spots and try and stay aggressive.
Serge Ibaka scored 14, and Andre Roberson and Dion Waiters posted 13 points apiece. Enes Kanter amassed 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Steph Curry paced the Warriors with 24 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 3-of-11 success from 3-point range. Klay Thompson scored 18 points.
“It was very uncharacteristic of us tonight on both ends of the floor,” Thompson said. “I mean, you only finish with 19 assists and that not like us.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was unable to find one facet of the game that his team will be able to take any positives from.
“It’s all troubling,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “When you lose by 30, it’s all troubling.””
Game 4 is Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
With their home crowd urging them on, the Thunder came out roaring to start the game. Led by the energy of Ibaka, they quickly took a 13-point lead.
The Warriors were able to come back and tie the game at 38-38 in the second quarter. But from that point on, Oklahoma City pulled away, outscoring the Warriors 34-9 the rest of the half.
The Thunder held a 72-47 halftime lead despite connecting on only three 3-pointers. They were able to do most of their work in the paint (34 points) and on fastbreaks (22).
Draymond Green, who was held to six points, four rebounds and three assists, kicked Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin and was called for a controversial Flagrant Foul 1. The NBA reviews all flagrant fouls and will decide what action to take.
“I thought it was inadvertent,” Kerr said. “There was contact on the play. I was shocked they even looked at it. Scott Foster told me they were looking at it to either determine if it was Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2, I was in shock. There is inadvertent contact all the time on plays. So that really surprised. I would think they would rescind it. This stuff happens all the time.”
Curry agreed with his coach.
“There was no intent,” Curry said. “Watching the replay, I think that’s clear.”
The Thunder are not so sure.
“The way I look it,” Westbrook said, “it looks intentional to me.”
The pummeling continued in the third quarter. Golden State had no answers for any part of Oklahoma City’s offensive attack and defensive ferocity. Curry and Thompson didn’t help matters by missing shots they normally knock down.
Even as the lead grew to more than 30 points, Oklahoma City’s defense stayed focused on not allowing Golden State to find any momentum that could carry over into Game 4.
“They are a great team,” Westbrook said. “They didn’t have the best record in the NBA for nothing. We have to come back with the same mindset and try and take care of business.”