Oklahoma City handed Golden State a more complete beating than anything the Warriors had experienced during their record-setting season, winning 133-105 on Sunday to take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Western Conference finals.
Suddenly, a second straight title that for so long seemed certain for Golden State is in jeopardy, and the Thunder firmly has the upper hand.
Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in a one-sided game.
The Warriors, who set an NBA record with 73 victories in the regular season, trailed by 41 points at one stage; their largest deficit this season.
“We got what we deserved,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Durant made 10 of 15 shots and Westbrook was 10 of 19. It was the first time this postseason both players shot better than 50 percent from the field.
“We’re not going to win that way,” Golden State guard Klay Thompson said. “One of those guys got to have an off night.”
Serge Ibaka added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who matched a franchise record for most points scored in a playoff game.
Oklahoma City dominated the rebounds 52-38, continuing the pattern of the series that the team that wins the boards wins the game.
“That’s one thing we slipped up on in Game 2, and tonight we did a good job of getting loose balls and finding ways to get 50/50 basketballs and give ourselves extra possessions,” Westbrook said.
Golden State will be in an uncomfortable position heading into Game 4 on Tuesday in Oklahoma City, but the Warriors remain confident. Golden State trailed Memphis and Cleveland 2-1 in playoff series last year and won both on its way to claiming the NBA title.
“Both times, we got blown out in Game 3, and we responded well, so we have that memory,” Kerr said. “I’m confident we’re going to come out and play a really good game in Game 4, and we’ll see what happens.”
The last time Golden State’s Stephen Curry had played in Oklahoma City, he scored 46 points, tied an NBA record with 12 3-pointers and hit a game-winning, 37-footer. This time, the league MVP finished with a relatively modest 24 points on 7-for-17 shooting. Klay Thompson added 18 points on 8-for-19 shooting.
Golden State’s Draymond Green, who kicked Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams in the groin and has become Thunder fans’ No. 1 target because of some questionable tactics, struggled on both ends of the floor and finished with six points on 1-for-9 shooting. The Warriors were outscored by 43 points when he was in the game.
Green said he wasn’t trying to hurt Adams.
“I thought it would probably get rescinded,” he said. “I followed through on a shot. I’m not trying to kick somebody in the midsection. Somebody wants to have kids someday. I’m not trying to end that on the basketball court.”
Seemingly energized after Green’s foul, the Thunder outscored the Warriors 24-7 the rest of the half, with many of the baskets coming against Green. In a play that summarized the second quarter perfectly, Green went in for a layup and got it blocked by Durant, then Durant made a 3-pointer on the other end to give the Thunder a 64-47 lead.
Green fouled Westbrook on a long 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in the first half. Westbrook made all three free throws to put the Thunder up 72-47 at the break; the most points scored against the Warriors in any half this season.
The Thunder continued the onslaught by making 17 of 22 shots in the third quarter to take a 117-80 lead into the fourth.