Oklahoma City Thunder: Golden State upends Thunder, 104-99
West Coast road trip is proving to be as tough as expected. Oklahoma City is 2-2 in its season-long six-game road trip.
OAKLAND, Calif. — The play, throughout the league, is called floppy.
It’s a basic set but one that, with the right personnel, can be a bear.
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It starts with a team’s two big men setting screens on each of the low blocks for wing players. The point guard then has a choice of which side to go to. The wing player who catches the pass then charged with creating a play.
This is what the Warriors used over and over again in their 104-99 win over the Thunder on Wednesday night inside Oracle Arena, and Oklahoma City either never made the proper adjustment or it simply didn’t matter.
“They got whatever they wanted,” said Kendrick Perkins. “They basically ran one play the whole night, the floppy play, and they got whatever they wanted. And (that’s on) all of us because either the big was getting the slip pass or they was coming off and shooting. We just wasn’t physical enough with them.”
Golden State (26-15) erased an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit by picking the Thunder apart with a well-oiled offense that featured precision, great timing, pinpoint passing and excellent read-and-react movement.
“They move the ball really well and they have a lot of shooters,” said Kevin Durant. “If you gamble or miss a play they make you pay for it.”
Durant scored a game-high 33 points with five rebounds and nine assists, and Kevin Martin added 16 points off the bench. But the Thunder couldn’t overcome 19 turnovers and an inability to get ample stops in the fourth quarter. It resulted in OKC falling to 33-10, becoming the last team in the league to have double-digit losses but now just percentage points ahead of San Antonio for the league’s best record.
The Thunder also fell to 2-2 on this current six-game road trip, which swings through Sacramento — possibly for the last time — before concluding in Los Angeles with a Sunday matinee game against the Lakers.
“We’ve been a little bit up and down on the trip,” said Nick Collison. “I thought we played well (Tuesday) night, but the other three games were not great. We just got to get back to it. The good thing about our team is we know what to do…We know when we’re not playing well, and we know what we need to do to play better so hopefully we’ll do that the next night out.”
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 31 points, scoring at will by slashing to the basket and spraying in jump shots. He made 11 of 27 shots and, oddly enough, had an off night, going 3-for-14 from beyond the arc. But it was Curry and Klay Thompson (19 points) who continuously applied pressure by curling off screens.
Warriors forward David Lee, who, like Curry is considered a top candidate as a reserve for the Western Conference All-Star team, complemented his point guard with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Lee added one assist, a pivotal one as he hooked up with Carl Landry to pull the Warriors within a point with 3:54 left to play after trailing by as many as eight in the fourth quarter.
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