Thunder's Winning Streak Snapped After Loss To Warriors
OAKLAND California - Kevin Durant was on fire Thursday night, hitting 30 points in the first half for the first time in his career. He went down with a sprained right ankle in the final seconds of the second quarter, and didn't return to the game. Due to the injury, he was unable to help his team stop the league-leading Warriors. Golden State dished a 114-109 loss to Oklahoma City, advancing to 22-3, while dropping the Thunder to 12-14.
Golden State got the tip off, and took the lead in the opening minute of play. OKC quickly stole and kept the lead. With nine minutes in the quarter, Russell Westbrook answered Steph Curry's Golden State three, with a Thunder three, making it a 14-7 game.
With the score now 16-9, Durant and Westbrook combined for all but two of the Thunder's points. Durant really got hot at the seven minute mark, hitting two back-to-back threes from deep. Golden State followed up with a score, but couldn't hold Durant on defense. Durant would come back up court for his third three-pointer, advancing OKC's lead 25-11. At this point, he was 6-7 from the field, and 3-4 from downtown. The Thunder was playing with crazy momentum, scoring on nearly every possession, and leading by 17 points with four minutes still in the first.
At the 3:37 mark, Durant led with 16 points, and Westbrook trailed him with 11. By the end of the first, OKC shot 15-25 from the field, and Golden State shot 14-27. The Warriors gave up 40 points, the most the team has allowed in a single quarter this season.
After the quarter, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks talked about the importance of getting back in transition against the strong shooting team by stating, “If you don't get back, you're giving up a three.” He also attributed most of OKC's first quarter success to the team consistently making shots.
Within the opening minutes of the second quarter, Golden State cut down the Thunder's lead to five. Durant and Curry brought rain to the gym, going head-to-head exchanging back-and-forth threes. With seven minutes in the quarter, the Warriors snagged its first lead (49-48), since the opening minute of the game. Durant owning the first half, attempted to help his team regain the lead by knocking down two consecutive threes, making the last one his fifth three and 28th point. He later went down on an ankle injury with 2.4 seconds in the quarter. He was walked off the court, and taken back for x-rays, that later came back negative.
With Durant out for the final two quarters, the Thunder struggled. Klay Thompson knocked down his 12th point for Golden State, increasing the Warriors lead 71-67 in the opening of the third. The Thunder stayed in close range, cutting the Golden State lead to four, after Reggie Jackson dumped in a teardrop layup.
Going into the final quarter, the splash brothers took over the court. Curry and Thompson were unstoppable. Curry sank his fifth three for 26 points, with eight minutes left to go. Westbrook answered back with Thunder three, which made it a 104-99 ball game. Westbrook went beast mode, and helped OKC take back the lead (105-104). This was the Thunder's first lead since they edged Golden State 48-47 earlier in the second quarter. Curry being the NBA's fifth leading scorer, didn't allow OKC to enjoy its lead for long. The Warriors went on to defeat the Thunder 114-109.
Curry led all scorers with 34 points. Westbrook led OKC with 33.
OKC will take the floor again Friday in Los Angeles to play the Lakers. The game tips off at 9:30 p.m.
Durant's playing status for the upcoming game is unknown. He said, “Tomorrow morning I'll see how it reacts, and take it from there.”