It’s already over before it even began.
Sure, there’s bad blood between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but that’s all there is to it as today’s game proved that the difference in quality between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder is far too much.
Betting websites and online gambling circles expected their third meeting to be a live betting spectacle for the ages, especially with the Thunder fans creating a hostile environment for the visitors. Unfortunately, just like their first two meetings, Oklahoma failed to live up to the hype.
Golden State Warriors 130-114 Oklahoma City Thunder
This game is all about the return of Kevin Durant to Oklahoma. And the prodigal son made sure that he stays on the headlines for another day after leading the Warriors to another blowout victory over the Thunder.
Amid all the fans’ boos at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Durant still shined bright and tallied 34 points and nine rebounds to counter Russell Westbrook’s 47-point double-double explosion. The former Oklahoma star also got some help from his new teammates Steph Curry and Klay Thompson who contributed 26 points each.
LA Clippers 107-102 Charlotte Hornets
Banking on Blake Griffin’s incredible near triple-double display, the Clippers won their second straight game without Chris Paul. Griffin had 20 points, 12 boards and eight assists to lift the Clips, while their bench unit generated significant production with Jamal Crawford leading the charge with 22 points on 5-for-8 shooting from deep.
Meanwhile, it didn’t help Charlotte that Kemba Walker was cold throughout, finishing the match with only 10 points on a 22.2 percent shooting clip.
Milwaukee Bucks 116-100 Indiana Pacers
With Jabari Parker gone for the season due to injury, the Bucks relied on a balanced offence to snap their losing streak and keep their playoff hopes alive. Six players – headed by Giannis Antetokounmpo – scored in double figures for Milwaukee, while Indiana only had four.
Moreover, the Bucks did an excellent job in limiting Paul George to just 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
Denver Nuggets 109-125 Cleveland Cavaliers
The Nuggets are one of the league’s worst defensive teams, and that was prevalent once again in their battle with the Cavaliers. Denver allowed Cleveland to make more than half of their attempts from the field, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving scoring 27 points apiece.
Additionally, Cleveland distributed the ball better, ending the match with 30 assists compared to Denver’s 23.
Miami Heat 109-117 Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia got a six-point lead at the end of the first half, and they never surrendered that advantage until the end despite a valiant fightback from the blazing Miami squad. Besides their offence that saw seven players share the scoring load, the Sixers’ defence also played a huge role in this encounter as they registered 15 steals, forcing the Heat to commit 19 turnovers.
Phoenix Suns 102-133 Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon still didn’t play for Houston, but that didn’t bother the Rockets that much as they romped to victory and torched the Suns with 18 three-pointers. James Harden, as usual, paced Houston with his 40 points, six rebound and eight assists. The MVP frontrunner also drilled eight three-pointers to fuel their performance from beyond the arc.
Phoenix, meanwhile, never had a chance after trailing by 24 points at the end of the first half.
Orlando Magic 80-112 Dallas Mavericks
A 32-12 second quarter from the Mavericks put the game out of reach for the Magic. Orlando don’t have much to boast on offence, but they failed to take advantage of their frontcourt depth to neutralise Dallas’ improving attack.
Wesley Matthews came up big for the Mavs with his 20 points, while Salah Mejri was also commendable as he held his ground to grab 15 rebounds.
Boston Celtics 112-104 Utah Jazz
This contest isn’t as close as the scoreline suggests. Boston led by as much as 23 points, but a spirited fourth quarter from the Jazz propelled them to cut the deficit to just six with 20 seconds remaining on the clock. However, the Celts didn’t falter and held on to their lead to hand the home team their second successive defeat.
Gordon Hayward did well for Utah as he scored 31, though Boston clearly had the better opportunities as they shot 59.2 percent overall.
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