Thunder Hope For Another Hot Start Against Warriors in Game 4

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 12:00 PM GMT

The Thunder control the Western Conference Finals 2-1 thanks to a 28-point walloping of the Warriors last time out. How will Golden State respond in Game 4? Get Your NBA Pick here.

Golden State Warriors (82-13 SU, 50-41-4 ATS)
“We got what we deserved,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters following a 133-105 beatdown by the Thunder in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The 28-point defeat was Golden State’s second largest both this season (Trail Blazers, 137-105) and in the modern-day playoffs (Clippers, 138-98 in 2014). At one point, Steph Curry and company were down by 41 points, the biggest deficit they have faced all year.

How will the Warriors respond? Golden State did not lose back-to-back games all season, going 12-0 SU and 9-3 ATS following a defeat. Kerr’s squad played 8.0 points better than the spread on average. Last year’s championship season witnessed the Warriors lose two in a row six times in 20 attempts.

Since 2005, the number one seed has earned a Game 4 victory in the Conference Finals just one time, going a remarkable 1-15 SU and ATS in the last 16 attempts. Cold shooting is the primary offender. The visitors have failed to eclipse their team total in regulation time in 10 of the meetings, hitting just 43.3 percent of buckets from the floor. With Curry, however, Golden State is 4-0 SU and ATS in Game 4 playoff games when trailing 2-1 in a series, beating the Cavaliers and Grizzlies last season by double digits after slipping.

To dig out of this hole, Kerr will likely need fellow “Splash Brother” Klay Thompson to get more involved on the scoring-end. He netted just 15 points in Game 2, snapping a eight-game postseason run of 20 or more. Last time out, he put up 18 points on 8-for-19 shooting. Half of the Warriors' defeats this season (11-7 SU) occurred on the road when Thompson dropped 18 points or less in a contest.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder (65-31 SU, 45-47-4 ATS)
Kevin Durant (10 of 15) and Russell Westbrook (10 of 19) each shot better than 50 percent from the floor in the Thunder’s big win, a first this postseason. OKC is 10-1 SU this season with each hitting more than half of their shots, winning by an average of 18.3 points per game.

For the Thunder to put away the Warriors, they will need to continue to dominate the boards and win the 3-point battle. They outrebounded Golden State 52-38 in Game 3, holding the Warriors to just 10 offensive boards all game. OKC, who owns the NBA's best rebound rate (53.7%), is 8-14 SU and 2-20 ATS when beaten on the glass in a game. It has only happened twice (Cavaliers, Rockets) on their home court in the last four calendar months.

The Thunder just barely bested the Warriors from behind the arc for the second time this series in Game 3, draining 32 percent to the visitor’s 30 percent. Golden State is 16-10 SU and a dismal 3-22-1 ATS when allowing a better 3-point percentage to opponents this season. In the playoffs, with Curry logging minutes, the Warriors are 6-13 SU and 3-16 ATS all-time. OKC is middling from the area (34.8 %) and actually shot 3.2 percent better on the road than at home. Only the lowly Lakers own a greater disparity in the league.

 

Final Analysis
The NBA will not suspend Draymond Green for tonight’s matchup over his flagrant foul on Steve Adams in the last game. The questionable kick to the groin area, though, gives OKC fans a target and extra incentive to create a hostile environment. We figured their energy would boots the Thunder in the first half of last game, and it did—Durant and company trotted out to a 72-47 lead through two quarters. We expect a similar script tonight for our NBA pick. We will jump on the same play as last time and back the Thunder plus a half point in the first half at the best NBA Odds offered in the market.

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Free NBA Pick: 1H Thunder +½ -105
Best Line Offered:  at Bookmaker
Record YTD: 71-47-1 (-106); NBA Playoffs: 11-4 (-109)