The Golden State Warriors were stunned by the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Oracle Arena on Tuesday morning as Billy Donovan’s men registered a 108-102 victory.
While it is only game one of the Western Conference finals, there will be cause for concern in the Warriors camp as Russell Westbrook seemed unstoppable at times in the second-half of the game.
A dominant first half for the Warriors felt like nothing short of a formality as they lead at the break 60-47.
However, in a superb exhibition of how dangerous the coupling of breathtaking athleticism and crafty skill can be, Westbrook changed the game in the second-half and inspired the Thunder to a spectacular come-from-behind victory.
He finished with 27 points, 12 assists and six rebounds and was superbly supported by Kevin Durant who scored 26 points.
“Russell was the catalyst, getting to the rim, finishing,” Durant said of his teammate’s performance.
“We just followed that lead and played hard on the defensive end. Withstood a couple leads they had and just kept playing through it.”
While the Warriors will be furious with themselves for surrendering the strong grip they held on the game at half-time, they will take heart from the fact that their best players are still delivering.
Stephen Curry accumulated 26 points, seven assists and 10 points while Klay Thompson and Draymond Green added 26 and 23 points respectively.
As for why his side were on the wrong end of the result despite those impressive performances, Warriors coach Steve Kerr slammed his group for their lack of composure in the final minutes of the game.
“There were a lot of quick shots, way too many quick shots,” Kerr said.
“Five minutes left in the game and we’re down four points or whatever and we were acting like we had 20 seconds left.
“Five minutes is an eternity. We know how we have to play. We have to pass and move and create rhythm for ourselves.
“I just felt we took way too many quick ones which took us out of our rhythm.”
Game two takes place on Thursday at 09:00 (HKT).