Golden State's charter flight from Houston to Will Rogers World Airport late Tuesday night was diverted to Tulsa because of heavy fog. The team then had to wait for team buses and didn't arrive in OKC until 4 a.m. Wednesday, which was roughly 15 hours before tipoff.
The Warriors ended up losing 119-98 to the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
OKC coach Scott Brooks said he still anticipated an inspired effort from Golden State.
“When you have back-to-back games, you normally get in around 1:30-2 (a.m.). You normally don't fall asleep until 3,” Brooks said. “Any team can handle a night of tough travel. That's just part of it. You have to make adjustments. It's part of being an NBA team. Everything is not going to go smooth. You can't have a bunch of nights in a row like that. We've all been there where we've had no sleep and you still can perform the next night.”
Despite starting out the game 6 for 20 from the field, the Thunder still managed to shoot 50.5 percent in the game by converting 42 of its final 75 shots (. 560).
Meanwhile, the Warriors were held to 40.9 percent shooting from the field despite shooting 50 percent (10 for 20) from 3-point range.
All-Star candidate Stephen Curry shot just 5 for 20 from the field and finished with 14 points for Golden State. Curry did hand out a game-high 14 assists, however.
*Kevin Durant (25), Russell Westbrook (22) and Kevin Martin (21) all scored 20-plus points. OKC is now 6-0 when three players score 20-plus.
*Serge Ibaka added 15 points and Reggie Jackson scored 12, which means the Thunder is now 16-1 when five players score 10-plus points.
*The Thunder is now 17-0 when shooting 50-plus percent from the field.
*OKC had a season-high 16 blocked shots, led by Ibaka with six (including four in the first quarter alone). The Thunder is 11-1 when it has 10-plus blocks.
*The OKC bench outscored Golden State's bench 45-32. The Thunder is now 15-2 when it outscores the opposing bench.
*OKC had 12 steals and is now 15-3 with 10-plus steals.
Because Wednesday was the back end of a back-to-back for the Warriors, center Andrew Bogut did not play. During his return from ankle surgery, Bogut is not expected to play in back-to-backs until after the All-Star break.
Also held out against the Thunder was Golden State reserve point guard Jarrett Jack, who had a right shoulder contusion and is day-to-day.
OKC reserve guard DeAndre Liggins suffered a left ankle sprain and is day-to-day.
Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery, who was partially paralyzed after being attacked while trying to keep the peace two years ago at an Oklahoma City bar while he was off-duty, was honored between the first and second quarters.
He received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd and from both teams as he stood up from his wheelchair and took several steps forward and back.
Entering Wednesday's game, OKC led the NBA in scoring (105.9) and the Warriors were seventh (101.3). … The Thunder was No. 1 in free-throw percentage (. 834) and Golden State (. 803) was No. 2, but both teams shot just 75.0 percent from the line. … OKC will not have a formal practice on Thursday and instead will have a “developmental day” for players to receive treatment and do individual work. … The Thunder now plays two straight games against the Phoenix Suns — at home on Friday at 7 p.m. and at Phoenix on Sunday at 7 p.m. … OKC is now 22-3 at home.
Curry on the Warriors not arriving to OKC until 4 a.m. Wednesday due to heavy fog: “It's different. You know, it definitely throws your routine off, especially on a back-to-back. On game day you can't really think about it; about that being a crutch for you. Just try to overcome it as much as possible.”
BY JOHN ROHDE