Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin got hot Wednesday night, both on the court and under the collar.
In the process, perhaps some young Golden State Warriors learned a valuable lesson during a 119-98 lashing they suffered at the hands of OKC.
Martin wasn't naming names or sharing exactly what was said or done in front of sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The sequence that likely set it off came with 1:19 left in the third quarter when 230-pound(ish) Golden State rookie Draymond Green shoved the 185-pound Martin hard out of bounds during a 2-on-1 fast break for the Thunder after Martin had passed the ball back to teammate Kevin Durant for an easy dunk.
Green's shove perhaps was worthy of a flagrant foul, but no foul of any kind was called.
At the outset of the final period, the Warriors still were within striking distance at 90-79 after trailing by as many as 26.
An obviously perturbed Martin promptly scored seven straight points for OKC and had 10 fourth-quarter points by the 8:09 mark to give the Thunder a 104-83 advantage and essentially seal the deal. He finished with 21 points (8 for 16 from the field; 3 for 6 from 3-point range), four assists and two steals in 26 minutes.
The soft-spoken Martin was still soft-spoken afterward, but he also was incredibly blunt.
“Coach (Mark) Jackson should talk to a couple of his bench players, make sure they get wet behind the ears before they come barking up a couple of our player's tree,” Martin said.
So they inspired you?
“Yeah, yeah. I take it personally. They did,” Martin said. “It wasn't only talking trash. They did a couple of dirty plays to inspire us as a team.”
Durant, who sat the entire fourth quarter for the second straight game, cracked a smile when told Martin was inspired by Golden State's “dirty play.”
“I wouldn't say they were too dirty, but they play physical,” said Durant, who had 25 points (10 for 18 from the field), seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals, but five turnovers. “I think K-Mart did a really good job of getting mad and getting through on his own … That's what busted the game open for us in the fourth quarter. I think he was upset at the play where he got fouled on a pass and got pushed out of bounds. That kind of ticked him off, and that's good. That got him going.”
Thunder second-year player Reggie Jackson played point guard the entire fourth quarter and kept looking in Martin's direction.
“He got hot. He's an elite scorer, especially in this league,” said Jackson, who had 12 points and six assists in 19 minutes. “What he does is special, getting to the line, being able to knock down big shots and hitting 3s. It's my job to try and see the mismatch and we felt he had the mismatch.”
Asked what inspired Martin at the outset of the fourth quarter, Jackson smiled and said: “I think it's the young guys on the Warriors who kind of got him a little hot, talking a little trash. I guess I ought to thank them for waking up the monster in him, so I do give them a shout-out for that one.”