OKLAHOMA CITY, Sporting Alert – Steve Kerr admits that his Golden State Warriors were well below their usual standard in the 133-105 blowout defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday (22).
Golden State, which defeated the Thunder in all three of their regular-season meetings this year, en route to setting an NBA record with 73 victories before the postseason, trailed the Thunder for most of Sunday’s contest and fell behind by as many as 41 points, their largest deficit this term.
The defeat in Game 3 this weekend sees the defending champions, who dropped the opening game of the series at home last week, now trailing 2-1 and need a victory on Tuesday night or run the risk of not making the NBA finals.
The Warriors shot 10 for 33 from 3-point range, got out rebounded 52-38, outassisted 21-19, while committing 14 turnovers for 18 points and a very disappointed Kerr believes his team got exactly what it deserved.
“We got what we deserved,” Kerr told reporters.
At the same time, though, the NBA coach of the year is confident his players will respond in Game 4, just like they did when trailing the Memphis Grizzlies and the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-1 in playoff series last year before rallying to lift the NBA championships.
“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 Warriors, who quickly fell behind by 13 points, struggled to get going in the game with only Stephen Curry, who scored 24 points, but shot 7 for 17 from the field and 3 for 11 from 3-point range, and Klay Thompson, who added 18 points on 8 for 19 shooting, scored in double-figures.
It was smooth sailing for Thunder duo Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who combined to score 63 points in the runaway victory.
Durant, who is enjoying a wonderful series, extended that form on Sunday night after scoring 33 points on 10 for 15 shooting from the field to go along with eight rebounds and blocked three shots.
Westbrook was just as equal on the court, when tallying 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in the win for Oklahoma City.
The supporting cast also did its part as well, with Serge Ibaka finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Andre Roberson and Dion Waiters each scored 13 points, while Enes Kanter collected 10 points and 12 boards.
Game 4 in the series is on Tuesday, again in Oklahoma City.