Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Thunder 119, Warriors 109

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Thunder 119, Warriors 109

BOX SCORE

Thunder 119, Warriors 109Player of the game: Kevin Durant had a triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists and Oklahoma City stayed comfortably ahead for most of the second half.Key stretch: The Thunder was in control most of the night, and always strung a few buckets together when it needed to. The last time Oklahoma City did that was in the fourth quarter after the Warriors had come back to within 105-98.But the Thunder (8-3) scored on four of their next five possessions, and next thing you know OKC was back up 115-102 with three minutes remaining.Durant had a couple of 3-pointers in that stretch to keep Oklahoma City in charge.Where Warriors are: The loss, Golden States seventh in a row in Oklahoma City, dropped the Warriors to 5-5 on the season overall, and theyre 1-1 on their current three-game road trip. The trip ends on Monday in Dallas.The Warriors beat the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Friday.Curry-Westbrook matchup: In a point guard matchup between young and upcoming players, Stephen Curry struggled against Westbrook.Curry was 2-for-8 from the field in the first half, while Westbrook made 7-of-13.Curry did have a nice stretch in the fourth quarter, helping the Warriors during a run, but Westbrook was the more consistent player for nearly all of the game. Westbrook finished with 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting seven assists, five steals and just one turnover.Curry had 22 points on 9-for-17 from the field and six assists and two turnovers. Its not that Curry played badly. He didnt. Its just that Westbrook was the more impactful player.Hung in early: The Warriors got down seven a few times in the first quarter, once when they were trailing 20-13. But from then on, and into the midway part of the second quarter, the Warriors were right there with the Thunder.But after the Warriors pulled within two at 38-36, Oklahoma City went on a 12-2 run, with buckets from multiple players, to take control.The Thunder went into halftime up 59-46. Westbrook, Durant and Martin, who finished with 23 points in 31 minutes, carried Oklahoma City in the first half. Westbrook had 16 points, four assists and three steals, and had Stephen Curry on his heels most of the half.Curry was 2-for-8 at halftime, for five points, two turnovers and an assist.Durant had 13 points in the half and Martin 12 at halftime. The Warriors starters struggled against the Thunders starters, but rookies Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green did some nice things.

NBA Gameday: Warriors must summon intensity for early start vs Magic

NBA Gameday: Warriors must summon intensity for early start vs Magic

Having destroyed three highly regarded opponents in their toughest week of the season, the Warriors on Sunday face an altogether different kind of challenge.

This time, it’s simply waking up.

The Warriors will pursue their seventh consecutive win, facing the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 a.m Pacific., the earliest game of the season for the Warriors.

The last time the Warriors (37-6) played such an early game in the Eastern Time Zone was March 26, 1995, also in Orlando.

The Magic (18-27) will want to be on alert for Warriors star Stephen Curry, who torched Orlando for 51 points last Feb. 25, his last visit to Amway Center.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 12.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kevin Durant vs. Aaron Gordon: It’s the most efficient high-producer on offense (Durant) vs. one of the top five athletes in the league (Gordon). Durant is taking apart all defenders, and Gordon isn’t known for his D. No, the South Bay native is most known for his ability to fly. Durant’s task will be to minimize lob attempts while keeping him off the offensive glass for easy put backs.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: F/C David West (L thumb fracture) is listed as out.

Magic: G Evan Fournier (R foot soreness) is listed as questionable. G Jodie Meeks (R thumb sprain) and G C. J. Wilcox (L Achilles tendinitis) are listed as out.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 9-1. Magic: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have swept the Magic in each of the past three seasons, compiling a six-game win streak during which they’ve won by an average of 10.8 points per game.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
EARLY FOCUS: After such astonishing success in a grueling week, with three emotional games, the Warriors may be susceptible to a letdown against inferior competition. Will they be able to summon the intensity from the start?

THE BIG MEN: Zaza Pachulia will have his hands full with Nikola Vucevic, the USC product who is one of the league’s more skilled scorers in the paint. Vucevic is not much of a defender, though, so Pachulia may find a few opportunities via the back cut or the pick-and-roll.

INSIDE D: If ever there were an offensive team begging to be defended by a zone, it is the Magic, who are 25th in field-goal percentage and, even worse, 28th in 3-point shooting percentage. The Warriors should be in good shape if they limit penetration.

Ex-Warrior rips Thunder for not defending Westbrook after Pachulia incident

Ex-Warrior rips Thunder for not defending Westbrook after Pachulia incident

Late in the first half of Wednesday night's game against the Thunder, Warriors center Zaza Pachulia made hard contact with Russell Westbrook, sending the Oklahoma City star sprawling to the ground.

The referees reviewed the play and gave Pachulia a flagrant foul.

Replays show Pachulia appearing to stand over Westbrook and none of his Thunder teammates coming to his defense.

Raja Bell, a 12-year NBA veteran who was briefly a Warrior during the 2009-10 season, was not happy with the reaction of the Thunder players.

"You are supposed to come flying across the court. You don't have to punch him, because that's a lot of money. But he should catch a forearm across his shoulder, a shove in the back, you ain't gonna knock down Russell Westbrook, the everything to the team I'm playing on, who feeds me, who makes me better, you ain't gonna do that and just stand over him and ice grill him. Not a chance," Bell said on Thursday during the NBA Crossover show on CBS Sports.

The incident started a war of words between Westbrook a Pachulia following the game.

"I don't know. He hit me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said when asked about what happened on the play.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulia 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.

Pachulia responded to Westbrook's comments moments later.

"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.