The Golden State Warriors achieved a thrilling 141-139 victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder in an exciting kickoff to the NBA In-Season Tournament. The contest delivered a display of intense performance from both squads as they battled it out up until the closing moments of the showdown.
From the very beginning, it was clear that this game would be a high-scoring affair, with both teams trading baskets in a frenetic first quarter. The Dubs’ offense was in fine form, but the Thunder appeared unstoppable. Even when the Warriors had good defensive possessions, the Thunder’s young and explosive team, led by Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams, continued to score.
As has been the case this season, the Warriors found their groove when Coach Steve Kerr turned to his bench. Dario Šaric was on fire, sinking three three-pointers in the quarter and finishing with a team-high 11 points. Chris Paul’s presence also provided stability for the team, and the first quarter concluded with a 38-33 Warriors lead. Šaric had an impressive total of 20 points by the end of the game.
The second quarter saw the Thunder maintain their offensive firepower, while the Warriors struggled with turnovers, often leading to easy Thunder buckets. However, some excellent ball movement and flashes of brilliance from Steph Curry helped the Warriors put up 31 points in the quarter. Klay Thompson’s buzzer-beating three-pointer was initially waved off after review, but the Warriors still held a 69-67 lead at halftime.
Any hope of improved defense in the second half quickly evaporated, thanks to Lu Dort, who was a perfect 9-for-9 from the field in the third quarter, including 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. The Thunder was on fire, but the Warriors’ offense continued to shine.
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors found themselves trailing 127-125, with plenty of time to see if they could maintain their incredible offensive pace. Their ability to generate second-chance opportunities, notably due to Andrew Wiggins’ aggressive rebounding, kept them in the game. Klay Thompson stepped up, hitting a game-tying three with just a few minutes left.
The game remained tight as both teams struggled to find their rhythm in the final minutes. The Thunder had a one-point lead, but a crucial steal by Gary Payton II and a subsequent free throw by Thompson put the Warriors ahead 137-136 with less than 40 seconds left.
In a thrilling final sequence, the Warriors managed to secure the victory. Following a successful alley-oop layup initiated by Draymond Green, the Thunder tied the game at 139-139. However, a basket interference call on Green was overturned after a review, allowing the Warriors to regain their lead.
The game was ultimately decided by Stephen Curry, who made a miraculous layup with just 0.2 seconds left. Initially, the referees called basket interference on Green, but the call was overturned after review, giving the Warriors the 141-139 win.
Curry led the Warriors with 28 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. The bench also played a crucial role, with Jonathan Kuminga contributing 19 points, Thompson adding 18, and Wiggins scoring 17. Draymond Green had 15 points, while Chris Paul provided 13 assists with no turnovers.
This victory marked the Warriors’ second consecutive last-second win, following Klay Thompson’s game-winner against the Sacramento Kings just a couple of days earlier.
In an electrifying game that felt like a playoff contest, both teams gave their all, showcasing the intensity and excitement of the NBA In-Season Tournament. With their impressive 5-1 start to the season, the Warriors will continue their road trip, facing the Cleveland Cavaliers next.
As Draymond Green aptly summarized, “You just saw two teams competing… It was a fun game to play in, the intensity level was there. So job well done to the NBA adding this kind of excitement in November.”