Warriors’ heart ripped out in stunning hammering for the ages – New York Post

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Not in the deepest, darkest recesses of their minds — or even in the so-often tortured history of the Nets — could the Warriors conceive of anything this wretched. For three days, they spoke of having the focus, the mentality, the experience to survive on the road.

And then for 48 minutes of Sunday’s Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, the Thunder kicked the Warriors’ butts up, down, around and across the floor at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

With a team-wide performance that was positively stunning for its totality and ruthless efficiency, the Thunder grabbed a 2-1 lead in the series with an overwhelming 133-105 victory. Oklahoma City placed six players in double-figures led by Kevin Durant who scored 33 points in 32 minutes and Russell Westbrook who had 30 points — plus 12 assists and eight rebounds.

Golden State’s worries may only be starting. Draymond Green was assessed a Flagrant One foul for kicking Thunder center Steven Adams in the groin. Earlier in the day, the NBA announced Cleveland’s Dahntay Jones was suspended one game for striking Raptors center Bismack Biyombo in the groin.

Should Green be suspended for his action, which came as the Thunder were pulling away in the first half, the Warriors could be up the proverbial estuary without the proper means of locomotion.

“We got our butts kicked,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

The Thunder maintained the homecourt edge they grabbed by splitting the first two games on Golden State’s floor and seek a commanding 3-1 lead here Tuesday. Of course, the Warriors can get homecourt back with a win Tuesday.

But Sunday, it looked like they couldn’t beat an NCAA 16 seed. They got 24 points from Stephen Curry, 18 from Klay Thompson and, um, er, not much else from anyone. The Thunder shot 50 percent, the Warriors just 41.3. The Thunder held a 52-38 rebound edge and a whopping 29-11 advantage in fast-break points.

To a man, the Thunder claimed they needed to be more physical, more aggressive, more attack-oriented. And to a man, they were.

With a display of running that seemed to shock and stun the Warriors — and pretty much most of the known world — with it ferocity and efficiency, the Thunder dismantled the champs by 25 points in the first half, had them by 37 after three quarters and led by 43 in the fourth.

After watching the Thunder close the half with a ridiculous 32-7 explosion, the Warriors trudged into the locker room on the wrong end of a 72-47 score. The Thunder with Durant and Westbrook playing out of their minds at both ends, out-rebounded, outran, out-hustled, outdid and simply out-played the Warriors in every facet. The Thunder had promised to leave everything on the court.

“It’s as simple as that,” said Durant who checked into halftime with 23 points — including 10 on free throws (he was 10-of-10 at the line, shooting six more than the entire Warrior team). “You just have to do it.”

And the Thunder did with Durant and Westbrook leading the way.

“He’s an explosive athlete. Just try to stay in front as best I can,” Curry said of the approach to try to stop Westbrook, an approach that was rather futile Sunday. “Just not give him any easy looks, straight line drives to the basket.”

Well, Westbrook got pretty much whatever he wanted — and probably things he didn’t want, like friction burns as he blew past the Warriors.

The Thunder set the tone early, led by as many as 13 in the first quarter before settling into a 34-28 lead. The Warriors came all the way back and tied it, 40-40, on an Andrew Bogut tip-in 8:37 before halftime.

After that, disaster. And a foot to the groin that was pivotal.

Following the tie, the Thunder ran off eight straight points, four by Dion Waiters, before Warriors forward Draymond Green made a move on Thunder center Stephen Adams. Green drew a foul but the play continued and Green, whether unintentionally or purposely, kicked Adams in the groin. The center, playing with a bruised thumb, collapsed in a heap. As the refs reviewed the play, the sellout crowd chanted “Kick him out!” The refs ruled a Flagrant One foul on Green.

“I know I didn’t do it on purpose,” said Green, who said he expected the Flagrant One to be rescinded. “I followed through on the shot and my leg kicked up. I don’t know how anyone could possibly say I did that on purpose.”

And Golden State’s misery was just starting. There was magnificent team play, there were brilliant individual efforts — like one Westbrook rebound in traffic where he would have fought off Wilt Chamberlain and Charles Oakley and Karl Malone. There was a Waiters dunk to complete a fast break after one of the 11 straight misses by Golden State that ended the half. The half ended with the Thunder ahead, 72-47, when Westbrook hit three free throws after being stupidly fouled by Green with :01.3 left shooting about a half mile from the basket.

Warriors’ heart ripped out in stunning hammering for the ages – New York Post