OAKLAND, Calif. — Two spots on the final stat sheet stood out as eyesores while telling the story of the Thunder's 100-94 loss at Golden State on Sunday night.
The categories were rebounding and turnovers.
Oklahoma City got out-rebounded 47-33, which included a 20-2 advantage on the offensive end and led to the Warriors outscoring the Thunder 22-4 in second-chance points. And the Thunder turned the ball over 20 times, which led to 20 Golden State points.
A third tell-all tally was the field goal attempts. The Warriors had 99. The Thunder had 59.
When you take those figures into account, it's hard to believe the Thunder was even in the game, let alone lost by only six.
“When a team has 40 more shots than you because of our turnovers and offensive rebounds, that's hard to overcome,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
The Thunder trailed by just one after Jeff Green swished a 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining.
But in the final minutes, the same problems that plagued OKC throughout the game led to its downfall down the stretch.
The Thunder couldn't contain Warriors guard Stephen Curry. The second-year guard zipped his way into the teeth of OKC's defense and found open teammates with ease. Each time he penetrated, he set up an open shot that forced the Thunder to scramble to recover.
Curry set up a Reggie Williams 3-pointer that put the Warriors ahead 96-92 by sucking in Green from the opposite corner. And after Kevin Durant hit a pair of free throws with 42 seconds remaining afterward, Curry set up the game-clinching bucket by blowing by Durant and dishing off to David Lee for an uncontested dunk that put the Warriors back up by four with 21.2 seconds left to play.
“We couldn't get them corralled in the pick-and-roll,” said Nick Collison. “A lot of that was my fault. That led to open shots. We just made too many mistakes to win tonight.”
Durant missed a 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining that could have cut Golden State's lead to one. And Monta Ellis iced the game by converting two free throws for the game's final margin with 8.3 seconds left.
After turning the ball over a season-high 23 times against Memphis last Tuesday, the Thunder appeared to have gotten its giveaways under control Saturday at Sacramento. In the win against the Kings, the Thunder had just 12 turnovers. But for the second time in three games Sunday, six Thunder players finished with at least two turnovers. Russell Westbrook had a game-high six, and has now turned it over 17 times in his last three games.
“I've not been taking care of the ball, and it's been rubbing off on my teammates,” Westbrook said. “I have to do a better job with that.”
The Warriors' big three of Ellis, Curry and Lee all had monster games. Ellis scored a game-high 33 points. Curry had 23 points and a game-high 13 assists. And Lee finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds. The Warriors, who have now won five of their past seven games, also had 28 assists against only nine turnovers.
But the result boiled down to rebounds and turnovers.
“I'm not disappointed with our effort,” Brooks said. “I would like to close out games, but (wins) are hard to come by. And we're going to continue to work at it and get better at doing it.”