OKC Thunder – Warriors 11.25 replay: 3 keys to focus on

NOVEMBER 25: Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder shoots the ball over Ky Bowman #12 and Alec Burks #8 of the Warriors to give the Thunder the lead in the final minute of their game at Chase Center. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NOVEMBER 25: Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder shoots the ball over Ky Bowman #12 and Alec Burks #8 of the Warriors to give the Thunder the lead in the final minute of their game at Chase Center. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

At 6:00 p.m. CT, Fox Sports Oklahoma is replaying the November 25 win over the Warriors. Here are three keys to why the OKC Thunder won.

Fox Sports Oklahoma continues to air games from this season and tonight will feature the OKC Thunder victory over the Golden State Warriors on November 25th.

This was the first time the OKC Thunder were playing at the new arena of the Warriors — the Chase Center. Although the team Golden State was bringing to the court didn’t include the typical list of names the history between the clubs provided more than ample motivation to win.

In fact, most teams this year enjoyed taking it to the undermanned Dubs as payback for the past five seasons. The fact this Warriors team seemed to revel in their slayings meant opponents still had strong feelings and since the Dubs took no mercy on them at the time, opponents thrilled to deliver the same gut-punch in revenge.

For the OKC Thunder, there was always going to be an extra inspiration as Kevin Durant had parted to join that 73 win team shortly after the Thunder lost the Western Conference Finals to them after leading the series 3-1 in 2016. Sure, KD headed out this postseason but Draymond Green who played an active (read: collusion and tampering) role in recruiting Durant is still on that squad.

It also didn’t matter neither Splash Brother was in the lineup with Klay Thompson out for the season with his knee injury and Stephen Curry joining him early in this campaign after breaking bones in his hand.

As you grab a comfy seat and your favorite beverage to watch the game airing at 6:00 p.m. Central Time here are three things to keep in mind during the game.

First road win:

This match marked the first road victory of the season for the Thunder. OKC had played 15 games to this point in the 2019-20 campaign. They sported a 5-10 record and all six road games resulted in losses.

Clutch Time Emerges:

This match also marked what became commonplace throughout the season as the Thunder won the game in clutch time. Of the 10 previous losses, eight occurred in those pivotal final five minutes. Those matches included losses to the Jazz, Wizards, Rockets, Blazers, Bucks, Clippers, and twice to the Lakers.

What is notable about this win was the breakthrough it represented. Although Thanksgiving is noted as the date things turned for OKC in clutch time it’s interesting that prior to the November 29th post Thanksgiving date the team was 5-8 in those matches. Of their 29 clutch wins 24 occurred after Thanksgiving but this game truly was the night everything changed.

Three new Thunder players lead the way:

Not surprisingly the clutch victory also featured three of the five Clutch Time Killers who simply refused to lose.

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Coincidentally, all three were the new members of the team as Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Danilo Gallinari all factored in those closing minutes. CP3 was unstoppable asserting his will on the game as the Thunder closed the match on a 22-5 run finishing with a 100-97 victory.

Gallo was more of a ball distributor in closing the game and took a critical charge late in the match while SGA did a bit of everything.

That the win was the template of how the team would play moving forward also highlighted it took the team approximately 15 games to mesh and develop their chemistry.

Fox Sports is re-airing the match tonight at 6:00 and 8:30 p.m CT. Between the two showings, the network will air the Best of Thunder Insider at 8:00 p.m. CT.

Enjoy this encore presentation. For those interested in diving deeper into the stats the ESPN box score can be accessed here and our post-game grades can be found here.

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