It didn’t help the Thunder that Russell Westbrook had a horrid night and couldn’t shake his funk no matter how hard he tried. One night after scoring 26 points against the Los Angeles Clippers, Westbrook turned in a performance that was marred by missed shots, bad passes, turnovers and inconsistent if not altogether ineffective defense. Unlike he’s done so many times in the past, Westbrook failed to supply a big play on either end in spite of his struggles. By the end of the night he had missed 13 of 16 shots and had just four assists against six turnovers.
Durant, on the other hand, got off to a sensational start, scoring with ease and efficiency but still keeping the defense off balance with a surprisingly stellar show of facilitating. By halftime, Durant had amassed 18 points on only eight shots and had dished eight assists, two shy of tying his career high. He finished the night making 10 of 17 shots and 11 of 12 free throws.
But Durant’s lone miss from the foul line was a pivotal one. He had a chance to bring the Thunder within one with 37.5 seconds remaining but split the pair. Curry missed a wide open 3-pointer at the other end, allowing the Thunder to rebound the ball and call a timeout with 17.5 seconds remaining. But coming out of the timeout, Durant turned it over when his pass to Kendrick Perkins was intercepted by Curry.
“Our design was to get me a shot coming off toward the corner,” Durant explained. “But they had two on the ball. They left Perk. I just got to make a better read. I thought he was going to dive. But I got to hold onto that ball. That’s all on me. I can’t put Perk in that position. When I seen two on the ball it kind of caught me off guard. I got to be quicker on my toes. I got to make better plays.”
After being intentionally fouled by Durant, Curry made two free throws at the other end to push the Warriors lead to 103-99. Westbrook air-balled an off-balanced 29-foot 3-pointer and Warriors guard Jarrett Jack iced the game by splitting a pair of free throws at the other end.
“It came down to the last minute of the game, and anytime that happens we feel that we have a good chance to win the game,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “But they made more plays than us.”Blog: Notebook nuggets from Wednesday's loss