The Oklahoma City Thunder pulled out a gritty 100-97 win against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night to secure their first road victory of the season.
When the Thunder’s schedule came out, many were skeptical of how well the team would open the season, given a plethora of difficult games they had early on. Three of Oklahoma City’s first 20 games of the season were against Golden State.
For years now, the Warriors have commanded respect in the NBA by posting one great season after another. This year, however, they have been seriously hampered by injuries and faced off against the Thunder at home with just eight players dressed in uniform. Notably, none of these players were named Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson.
The Thunder took the first two meetings of this series this year, both wins at home. However, this was the first time they faced the Warriors in Oakland.
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Oklahoma City jumped out to an early 13-4 lead, but after a timeout and quick talk from head coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors came roaring back and ended the quarter leading by three (28-25).
In the second quarter, the Warriors increased their lead to 12 with only 35 seconds remaining in the half. Chris Paul — the Thunder’s veteran presence and consummate leader — put them right back in the game by nailing back-to-back three-pointers in the last 30 seconds of the half.
The Warriors retained their lead throughout the second half and managed to hold on every time the Thunder began to chip away at their lead. However, with the game getting late — and the Thunder down by 14 points — Paul took reins again for Oklahoma City.
Paul led the Thunder on a 22-5 run to cap off a comeback win for the away team. Given that the Thunder were one of the only two NBA teams without a road victory entering the contest (the other being the Orlando Magic), this was a big statement win for the organization and a great way to get the proverbial monkey off of their back.
The Thunder (6-10) currently sit 10th overall in the Western Conference standings. On Thursday, they will travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers in search of their second road victory of the year.