No one expected this series to go this way, but here we are. The Warriors are playing for their postseason lives in Game 5 against a Thunder team that has looked superior on both ends en route to a 3-1 lead. A loss at Oracle would mean an early elimination for the best regular season team of all time.
It's hard to count Golden State out. They have Stephen Curry, who can go off for 50 points at any time, as well as Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and a supporting cast that proved its worth in the 2014-15 title run. They have one of the best home crowds in the NBA and a bright coach. Winning three games in a row against any quality team is a tall task, but if there's anyone who can do it, it's these Warriors.
Unfortunately for them, the Thunder have not played like just another good opponent. They have found a new gear, especially on the defensive end, since their blowout loss in Game 1 of the conference semifinals against the Spurs. Since then, they have showed a renewed focus on defense, with the stars leading the way. They have limited the Warriors to scoring under 102 points per 100 possessions, over 10 points worse than they did in the regular season.
Normally the Warriors would jump start their offense by deploying their Death Lineup, a small unit featuring Curry, Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala and Green which has destroyed every opponent in its path. In this series, however, that five-man unit has gotten outscored by the Thunder, which can match its quickness and athleticism while having more length. It doesn't seem like there's an easy solution to Golden State's problems.
The Thunder would be wise to not get overconfident. They need to come out ready to end this on Thursday. If they give the Warriors hope they could regret it, as two of the next three games are scheduled to be played in the Bay Area. As long as they remain focused, however, it seems like it's their series to lose.
How to watch Warriors vs. Thunder Game 5
Place: Oracle Arena
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Streaming: Watch TNT
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Kevin Durant's dominant defense vs. Golden State
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