After a successful first week, looking to build upon their 3-0 record, the Oklahoma City Thunder had a true test to start off their second week of NBA regular season. They first started away from home in Los Angeles against the Clippers in the first of a back-to-back. After that, they flew immediately to Oakland to face Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors. Finally, they finished up their second week against a young Minnesota Timberwolves squad just before the United States turned back the clock for Daylight Savings. Here is a recap of every game for week 2 of the NBA regular season for Oklahoma City:
Wednesday, 2 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Away
The Oklahoma City Thunder (3-0, 1-0 Away) headed into The City of Angels to face the LA Clippers (3-0, 2-0 Home) in a possible playoff preview between both teams. In the end, Oklahoma City came away the victor with a final score of 85-83. It was a gritty defensive effort on the part of Oklahoma City and this game cemented them as a legitimate threat as a playoff contender for the Western Conference. Oklahoma City was led by superstar Russell Westbrook who finished with 35 points and also added in 5 assists and 6 rebounds. Westbrook did play sloppy though and had 10 turnovers as well. The LA Clippers were led by their own star guard Chris Paul who had 15 points along with 11 rebounds and 9 assists.
While all eyes were more on Oklahoma City's game the following night against the Golden State Warriors and the Chicago Cubs ending their 108 year World Championship Drought, the Thunder still had to play another Western Conference contender in the LA Clippers. The game was just sloppy for everyone offensively as Westbrook was the only Oklahoma City player to break double digits in scoring. Thankfully they were able to show the defensive fortitude to hold on in the closing moments against the Clippers.
The Thunder play the LA Clippers next on Friday, November 11 in Oklahoma City.
Golden State Warriors
Thursday, 3 November 2016 at 10:30 PM ET Away
In the marquee matchup of week two of the NBA regular season, Oklahoma City (4-0, 2-0 Away) headed into the Bay Area to face the Golden State Warriors (3-1, 0-1 Home) and former Thunder star forward Kevin Durant. There was plenty of tension between both squads and unfortunately Kevin Durant got the last laugh against his former team as the Warriors won 122-96. Durant led the Warriors with a blistering 39 points, hitting 7 of 11 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and also finished with 7 rebounds as well. Victor Oladipo was the leading scorer for Oklahoma City with 21 points and also added in 3 rebounds. Russell Westbrook also had a big night with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists.
Boy oh boy, this game had plenty of talking points. From Westbrook dressing up as a photographer, taunting Durant about one of his hobbies, to Westbrook and Durant ignoring each other at the opening tip, to Enes Kanter talking smack to Durant while his team was being demolished; and this is only week two of the NBA regular season. When these teams play next it will only be uglier and hopefully, the Thunder can shore up their perimeter defense so Durant and his teammates do not torch them again.
One of the positive takeaways from this game was newly acquired Thunder forward Jerami Grant probably received a ton of props from Russell Westbrook for bringing the house down on Durant:
The Oklahoma City Thunder play the Golden State Warriors next on Wednesday, January 18 in Oakland.
Saturday, 5 November 2016 at 06:00 PM ET Home
Finally, the Oklahoma City Thunder (4-1, 3-0 Home) wrapped up their week back at home against a young Minnesota Timberwolves (1-4, 0-2 Away) squad. The Thunder were able to bookend their three-game week with a win, the final score was 112-92. Russell Westbrook had one of his best games so far this season with 28 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists and only 2 turnovers. Karl-Anthony Towns was a monster for the Timberwolves with a final tally of 33 points and 6 rebounds.
During the first half, the Timberwolves played the Thunder close and were only down 59-53. Then the third quarter happened and the Timberwolves inexperience and youth were exposed as they were outscored 31-19. Timberwolves rookie guard Kris Dunn started in absence of Ricky Rubio and was given a baptism by fire by Russell Westbrook. The Timberwolves are following the Thunder's model of building through the draft and definitely have potential but they need time to grow as a unit as well. With the win against the Wolves the Thunder improved to 5-1 and 4-0 at home.
The next time the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Minnesota Timberwolves is on Christmas Day in Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are still sitting pretty atop the division after their second week of NBA regular season action. While they were not able to get a win against former Thunder member Kevin Durant, they still showed that they are a legitimate Western Conference playoff team under the leadership of MVP-candidate Russell Westbrook.