Golden State coach Mark Jackson maintained a calm demeanor during Sunday night's 119-109 loss to the Thunder, in part because he sees similarities in his team and the team that was beating him.
“Played against a very good basketball team that went to the Finals last year,” Jackson said afterward. “They have a couple of very special players. In their building, you cannot make mistakes. The thing that I pointed out to (our players) is that this is a process and they went through that same kind of experience and learned from it. It is important for us to the same thing and continue to get better.”
Down 97-75 early in the fourth quarter, the Warriors went on a 23-8 run to pull within 105-98 with 5:59 remaining.
“Give the Thunder credit because they played very well,” Jackson said. “They're a good defensive team and we didn't have it going early in this game. They are awfully good, but we came here to get a win.”
OKC continues surrender 30-point quarters, something coach Scott Brooks adamantly does not want to happen. The Warriors outscored the Thunder 36-25 in the fourth quarter.
“I thought our defense was sluggish at times,” Brooks said. “The Warriors, they have so many shooters on the floor. They space you out, and they have a really skilled big guy and their point guards are really good, but 36 points in the fourth quarter is just too many. That's not what we talk about or work on every day.”
All told, the Thunder has surrendered four 30-point quarters so far this season.
Memphis outscored OKC 36-15 in the second quarter of a 107-97 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena last Wednesday and Atlanta outscored OKC 30-22 in the opening period of a stunning 104-95 victory at The Peake on Nov. 4.
TURN THE TIDE
The Thunder finished with 12 turnovers, which led to 14 Golden State points. OKC rookie Jeremy Lamb committed the last two turnovers in a span of 24.1 seconds.
The Warriors committed 13 turnovers that led to 18 points for OKC.
“I thought that (13) turnovers was not a high number and acceptable for us, but not when (the Thunder) wind up with fast-break and transition 3-pointers,” Jackson said. “That's what takes the life out of you and gives them a burst.”
The Thunder had shot 13 for 20 (. 650) from 3-point range Sunday and is 27 for 49 (. 551) the last two games.
OKC leads the NBA in 3-point percentage (. 435), free-throw percentage (. 840), points per shot (1.37) and opponent blocked shots (2.9). The Thunder also is second in opponent rebounds (39.0), third in overall field-goal percentage (. 482), third in scoring (101.7), fourth in blocked shots (7.5), fourth in field-goal percentage defense (. 428) and fifth in 3-point percentage defense (. 329).
Serge Ibaka leads the league in blocked shots (3.45), is eighth in field-goal percentage (. 564) and 13th in free-throw percentage (. 903); Kevin Durant ranks third in scoring (24.5) and eighth in rebounding (10.5); Kevin Martin is fourth in free-throw percentage (. 947) and seventh in 3-point percentage (. 536); Russell Westbrook is fifth in assists (8.4); and Thabo Sefolosha is sixth in 3-point percentage (. 542).
SERVE IT UP
The Thunder did not have a formal practice Monday, but players showed up on their own for treatment (if necessary) and individual workouts.
The team's fifth annual Holiday Assist was held later in the afternoon, when the entire team, coaches and staff volunteers served dinner at the City Rescue Mission for two hours. Rumble and the Thunder Girls helped families enjoy a Thunder carnival in the shelter's gym, which was refurbished by the Thunder Cares Foundation in June.
The City Rescue Mission serves Oklahoma City's homeless population, providing services such as a shelter, meals, recovery programs and a medical clinic. Holiday Assist is presented by Cox Communications.
Wednesday's home game against the Los Angeles Clippers will be televised on ESPN (Cox 29) and starts at 6:30 p.m. rather than 7. It will be the Clippers' only visit to OKC this season. The Thunder visits the Clippers on Jan. 22 and March 3. … OKC shot 50.6 percent from the field Sunday and is now 5-0 this season when shooting 50 percent or better. The Thunder went 18-0 last season when shooting 50 percent or better and opponents went 3-2 when shooting 50 percent or better. … The Warriors outscored OKC 58-32 in the paint, but the Thunder outscored Golden State 14-7 in second-chance points and 26-12 in fast-break points.
Warriors forward David Lee on the Thunder's shooting in Sunday's game: “When they shoot the ball that well at home, they're tough to beat — even when they're not shooting that well. When they shoot that well in the building, it's going to be an uphill battle all night.”