Flat fourth spoils W's road trip in loss to Nets


Flat fourth spoils W's road trip in loss to Nets


The Warriors were in good shape much of the game, but things got away in the fourth period. The Nets outscored the Warriors 27-17 in the final period, sending Golden State home from its four-game road trip at 2-2.Nets 107, Warriors 100Star of the game: Nets point guard Deron Williams finished with 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.Key stretch: Midway through the fourth quarter, after the Warriors established a five-point lead, Williams made a couple of big plays. First, he knocked down a 3-pointer with 7:22 remaining to cut the Warriors lead to just two points. Then, Williams got fouled on a 3-point attempt on the next possession, and subsequently made three free throws to give the Nets the lead.
End of the third: A big sequence occurred at the end of the third quarter and it didnt go the Warriors way. They were up 83-77 with the ball, but Nate Robinson missed a 3-pointer with just under five seconds remaining. The Nets got the rebound and Anthony Morrow ended up knocking down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to not only cut the deficit to three points but also send the Nets into the final period with momentum.Disappointing loss, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. We had the game. Bottom line is if you dont close out quarters, close out possessions, they come back to bite you. They outworked us.Offense clicking: From an offensive standpoint, the Warriors were efficient and effective in the first half. They shot 52.5 percent from the field including 6-for-9 from 3-point range -- with six players scoring six points or more. And they had 15 assists to just three turnovers.However, it wasnt one of their better defensive efforts as the Nets shot 52 percent from the floor and they also outrebounded the Warriors 23-12. The Warriors went into halftime up 56-55.In the end, the game was largely determined on the glass, where the Nets had a 45-25 advantage.The bottom line is youve got to get the basketball, Jackson said. Kris Humphries (18 points, 15 rebounds) outworked us. Collectively, they wanted it more.Foul trouble for Lee: David Lee, who had scored 20 or more points in the past five Warriors games, was derailed somewhat by foul trouble on Wednesday. Lee picked up his fifth foul with 1:08 remaining in the third quarter, meaning coach Mark Jacksons gamble of keeping him on the floor with four fouls didnt pay off.Jackson used the same strategy in the first half after Lee picked up personal foul No. 3 early in the second quarter. Jackson kept Lee in the game and Lee played another five minutes without picking up another. Jackson then removed him midway through the period.Ellis A-OK: Monta Ellis showed no ill-effects from an elbow he took in the face from Clevelands Anderson Varejao on Tuesday except, that is, a puffy face. Ellis had 11 points and four assists in the first quarter and he attacked the rim fearlessly the entire game.By halftime, Ellis had 13 points, five assists and three steals.Rookie initiation: Warriors rookie Charles Jenkins had the unenviable assignment of defending All-Star point guard Deron Williams, and it didnt go well. Jenkins picked up three quick fouls in just seven minutes and had to give way to Nate Robinson midway through the first quarter.
On the road: The Warriors entered Wednesdays game having won two of three on this road trip, including two consecutive victories. The last time the Warriors had won three straight road games was back in 2007, when they defeated Cleveland, Denver and Houston in consecutive games.The last time the Warriors won three straight games on the same road trip was back in 2003.

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant, Thunder Stopper? With a second consecutive magnificent performance in decisive wins over his former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant may be adding a nickname.

Durant on Wednesday night posted his first 40-point game as a Warrior, carrying them to a 121-100 win over the Thunder at Oracle Arena.

He has scored 79 points in two games against OKC, taking only 40 shots to ring up such an impressive total. He was 13-of-16 Wednesday night and 15-of-24 in scoring 39 points in a 122-96 win on Nov. 3 at Oracle.

Though Durant downplayed his production, his coach and teammates were not surprised he has been so good against the team with which he spent nine seasons.

“It’s still kind of fresh, but we can’t deny the history of him with OKC,” Stephen Curry said.

“Every player in the NBA wants to play well against his old team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “For most guys, you feel that extra juice when you play against a team that you played on.”

Durant not only finished with a season-high point total but also added a team-best 12 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks. He practically stamped his signature on the game.

“My teammates are doing a good job of freeing me up,” said Durant, who drilled 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. “I put the work in and prepared myself for every game. I just happened to knock them down.”

It’s not just that Durant was facing his former team, though. He was, once again, on opposite sides from longtime teammate and erstwhile friend Russell Westbrook. The two have not had much to say to each other since Durant’s decision last July to leave OKC and sign with the Warriors.

Little changed Wednesday night, though the two had a brief exchange in the second half, as Durant headed to the line to shoot a pair of free throws.

Asked if the two have talked, Westbrook said, “Nah,” despite the brief dialogue.

Durant carefully avoided saying anything remotely inflammatory about Westbrook or any of his former teammates.

“It’s good to see everybody,” he said. “Once the ball is tipped, you’re just playing. You’re just hooping. It’s as simple as that. But it’s definitely good to see everybody.”

Durant’s lone lowlight came when he blew a dunk with 1:45 left in the first half, taking flight about 10 feet from the basket and slamming the ball off the back of the rim and nearly to halfcourt.

“I thought I made it,” Durant said, “and then I heard the crowd.

“I was kind of upset. I tried to dunk it too hard, I think. I might have jumped from a little too far out. As I was close to the rim, I felt myself coming down a little earlier than usual.

“But, yeah, I should have made that one. That would have brought the crowd to its feet. But, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity.”

The crowd was on its feet plenty, as was the case during Durant’s previous display against OKC. The Thunder won’t be back to Oakland this season.

Durant will have another chance to go after his former team and burnish his credentials as a Thunder Stopper when the teams meet on Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City.


Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Late in the first half of Wednesday's game between the Warriors and Thunder, Russell Westbrook collided with Zaza Pachulia.

Pachulia appeared to hit Westbrook in the face. The Thunder guard hit the floor and rolled around for a few seconds before bouncing back up.

The officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant foul on Pachulia.

After the game, Westbrook was asked about his vantage point on the play and he didn't hold back.

"I don't know. He me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulai standing over him.

"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.

Westbrook's comments were brought to Pachulia after the game and the Warriors center offered this rebuttal.

"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments. That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.

Westbrook will get that chance on February 11 when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City.