Through its first seven games, the Thunder had allowed an average of 27.1 3-point attempts. That ranked OKC second to last.
Only the Philadelphia 76ers had allowed more 3-pointers on average.
A number of factors could explain opponents launching so many long-range shots, including but not limited to the Thunder's focus on closing the paint, early season matchups or, simply, slow closeouts.
“I think the league shoots a lot of 3s now,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “You have to make sure they're contested. We need to do a better job of contesting the 3-point shooters. But we focus on protecting the paint and not giving up any easy shots around the basket. But we still want t be able to do it all, protect the paint, contest the 3-point shooters and limit them to one shot.”
Kevin Durant said the Thunder's interior defenders, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and Steven Adams might be discouraging teams from attacking the basket, which has led to more 3-pointers.
“I look at it this way, a lot of teams when they go into the paint, they're a little scared to see Serge down there and Perk and Steven,” Durant said. “And they do a great job of kicking that ball out and making us scramble. And they're hitting those shots. So we just got to do a better job of running them off the line and getting a hand up on those shots and hopefully they start to miss them.”
Before Thursday's game at Golden State, the Thunder had allowed 34.7 percent from 3-point range, ranking 11th in the league.
Clippers forward Matt Barnes was fined $25,000 for failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection against the Thunder in Wednesday's game and using inappropriate language on his Twitter account, the NBA announced on Thursday.
Before the league announced the fine, Barnes had apologized for his conduct and his Twitter post.
DURANT HIGH ON PARKER
With such a renowned freshman class in college basketball, a national debate is likely to begin on which player is the best in the country and, thus, deserving of next year's No. 1 overall draft pick.
In the eyes of Durant, the current frontrunner is Duke forward Jabari Parker, a Chicago native who spent time training under Durant's watch for several years at his annual Nike camp.
“That kid is amazing, man. I think he's the best player in the country,” Durant said. “Him and (Andrew) Wiggins are like 1A and 1B. Those guys, man, I don't want to put the one-and-done thing on them too early. But they're going to do really well in college and lead their teams to, I think, Final Fours.”
Asked if which player he'd select first overall if he was an NBA GM, Durant closed his eyes and covered his face with both hands.
“Man, that's kind of like, close your eyes and just pick one,” he said. “You're good with either one of those guys. So I wouldn't say. I mean, I love Jabari's game. He's so skilled and has it all right now. Wiggins is so physically ... like he's on another level right now. That's God-given ability he has.”
As he spoke about the incoming freshman class, Durant said he sees many of today's up and comers as being better at this stage of their careers than players in years past.
“It's a lot of talented kids coming into this league the next few years,” Durant said. “It's going to be fun to see. All those guys are pretty good. It feels like high school guys are ahead of the curve.”