Overshadowed by Russell Westbrook's heroics and another wild finish between the Warriors and Thunder was another great performance from Serge Ibaka.
The Thunder's fifth-year forward had 18 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in 47 minutes on Friday, chipping in at crucial times on offense and providing a stone wall on the back end of the Thunder's defense.
It was Ibaka's seventh double-double of the season and a great cap to a fantastic month of November. He averaged 15.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 13 games.
“He's rebounding at a career-high (right now),” coach Scott Brooks said. “And I don't think that will change. He's very comfortable, he's really starting to pick up the game.”
JUMP BALL PROBLEMS
The Thunder won the opening tip against the Warriors on Friday.
Typically, that's not a notable feat. But this season for OKC — which has won only three of 14 opening taps — it is.
Brooks was asked about the trend, and he seemed slightly concerned, noting the benefit of winning it.
The team that captures the opening tip, also gets it to start the fourth, with the loser starting with the ball at the beginning of the second and third quarters.
“I'd love to have an opportunity at the end of the third (quarter), get the ball and hit another three (at the start of the fourth) and have a 6-0 run right there,” Brooks said. “If you have a 2-for-1 situation and you can get five points (at the end of the third) and then you start the fourth quarter on a 8-0 run.”
DURANT TALKS ABOUT CHALLENGES OF GUARDING CURRY
Kevin Durant is arguably the toughest cover in the league, routinely frustrating opposing players, coaches and fans with his unguardable shots.
But one of the few in his stratosphere offensively is Steph Curry, the Warriors' sharpshooting guard who was in Oklahoma City on Friday night.
Before the game, Durant was asked what made him so hard to guard.
KD's extended answer: “He got the green light to shoot whenever he wants. But the shots he takes, it's kind of like, you never would think somebody would take those shots. Me, I think every shot he shoots is going in. So we have to be up on him every time he has the ball no matter where he is because he can shoot so deep and without effort. Him and Klay Thompson. I guess that's why they call them Splash Brothers. They can, with a flick of the wrist it's going in.”
Curry finished Friday night's game with 32 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Thunder and Warriors have played 101 minutes against each other this season. Both have scored 228 points.