Kevin Durant had nearly as many turnovers (four) as points (six) at halftime. Durant adjusted to being defended by small guards. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said two Durant assists and a 3-pointer early in the third quarter were the key to the Thunder seizing control in the 104-88 win Monday over Golden State. Durant finished with six turnovers but scored 28 points. "It’s tough to play against little guards,” Durant said. "Since I’m so tall, they get under me when I dribble. Coming out (in the second half), I wanted to do something else. My shot wasn’t going the first half. "I got a few assists early on, and that led to some points for me as well. People think it’s easy (going against small guards), that I’m going to score a lot of points. But it’s tough. Those guys get after it. They have quick hands. That’s something I have to get used to.”
LIVINGSTON PLAYS WELLShaun Livingston wasn’t in the Thunder rotation early. He was then sidelined more than two weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery. But now that Kevin Ollie is out through the holidays after also undergoing knee surgery, Livingston might have seized the backup point guard job Monday after he grabbed a season-high seven rebounds and dished out a season-high three assists. "He was good,” Brooks said. "That’s not easy to do. He came off his minor knee procedure and played well. He can make plays. He does a good job of finding guys. Tonight, he did a good job of rebounding when we needed it.”
SEASON HIGHThe Thunder posted season highs for rebounds (57). Golden State had 37 boards. "We made them miss shots,” Brooks said. "That’s what was important. We did a good job of keeping a hand in the face, contesting shots, then coming up with rebounds. Nick (Collison) is as solid as anybody on our team. He defended, he rebounded and made some good decisions and was finishing around the basket.”
SHORTHANDED WARRIORSBecause of injuries and Anthony Morrow attending a funeral, the Warriors suited out only nine players and played only eight. And they lost one player — Corey Maggette — late in the third quarter when he was ejected with two technical fouls for arguing with referee Derek Richardson. Two players, Monta Ellis and C.J. Watson, played all 48 minutes. That’s nothing new. In a win over the Dallas Mavericks during Thanksgiving week, Golden State played only six players, including three who played all 48 minutes.
FAST BREAK...Starting center Nenad Krstic returned after missing one game with a sprained ankle, but Nick Collison got more minutes off the bench. ... Former Indiana star Keith Smart is coaching the Warriors on a four-game road trip. Coach Don Nelson, who has been battling pneumonia, stayed home in Oakland. ... Oklahoma City players will have today off but will practice Wednesday and Thursday before leaving Thursday afternoon for Friday’s game in Memphis. ... The entire team will participate this afternoon in the Grandparents Raising Grandkids Christmas shopping spree at Target in which 10 families will be given $1,000 or more per family, $10,000 total.