Jackson: 'We were not sharp defensively'
Stephen Curry scored just 14 points in the Warriors' loss to the Thunder on Wednesday. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
A day after their most lopsided loss of the season, things didn’t get much better for the Golden State Warriors, who lost 119-98 at Oklahoma City.
It was the eighth consecutive loss on the road to the Thunder (37-12), which had three players score more than 20 points -- Kevin Durant (25), Russell Westbrook (22) and Serge Ibaka (21).
"Overall what it takes to beat this team, especially in their building, is 48 minutes of solid basketball at both sides of the floor and we did not do that," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
Oklahoma City jumped out to a 44-24 lead early in the second quarter and cruised to the lopsided win against the sluggish Warriors.
Sleep deprivation has a way of having that effect.
After losing 140-109 to Houston Tuesday night, the Warriors were supposed to fly directly to Oklahoma City, but a heavy fog in the region required the team flight to be re-routed to Tulsa, about 100 miles away.
The team waited about an hour for buses after landing in Tulsa then made the trek to Oklahoma City. Most players arrived at the team hotel between 4 and 4:30 a.m. Some players, including Stephen Curry, elected to make the trip in a cab.
Jackson refused to acknowledge how the team's travel woes might have affected its play.
"We lost. We were not who we are, who we've been," Jackson said. "They thoroughly outplayed us."
Oklahoma City created 19 turnovers and turned them into 29 points.
"We didn't take care of the basketball. There's nothing you can do against this team," Jackson said. "You don't take care of the basketball and it's two points on the other end and now all of a sudden you're dealing with a monster that has some momentum."
All things considered, the loss – or fashion in which it came – wasn’t all too surprising. Playing at Oklahoma City would have presented a formidable challenge with a fully-healthy, rested roster.
That wasn't the case.
Andrew Bogut was unavailable as he played Tuesday and won’t play in back-to-back games until at least the All-Star break. His absence was expected, but the team was also without backup point guard Jarrett Jack, who sat out after suffering a bruised shoulder and hip against Houston during a collision with Jeremy Lin.
Unlike when the Warriors hosted the Thunder on Jan. 23, Andris Biedrins started at center. Biedrins scored two points and had seven rebounds in 12 minutes.
With Bogut mostly unavailable this year, 38 starts this season have gone to rookie Festus Ezeli. However, Ezeli started the second straight Bogut-less game on the bench and finished with two points and two rebounds in 13 minutes against the Thunder.
Jack’s status for Friday is unclear.
"You miss (Jack's) veteran presence and his calming effect on the offensive end," Jackson said, "but I don't think it would have made a difference (against the Thunder)."
Rookie Harrison Barnes nearly equaled his career high (21) for the second time in three games, finishing with 19 points to tie for the team lead with Klay Thompson.
David Lee (12) and Curry (14) also finished in double figures. Richard Jefferson scored nine points in just 12 minutes off the bench.
The Warriors showed some life to begin the second half, cutting the 18-point halftime deficit to 12 four minutes into the third quarter. They hung around and trailed just 90-79 at the end of three. After that it was all Thunder, which opened the final quarter on a 16-4 run over the first four and a half minutes.
"They're a very good team. They're not going to buckle when things are not going their way," Jackson said. "We made a run, but you got to sustain it and I thought at key points we didn't take care of the basketball and we didn't defend at our level. We have to get back to that."
After being held to a season-low 10 points against the Warriors, Westbrook asserted himself early. He scored 18 points in the first half and created problems with penetration and from the perimeter. Westbrook also finished with five assists.
#WarriorsTalk Tweet of the Game
The Dubs are still exhausted from last night. Sucks that they couldn't get a full day of rest. #WarriorsTalk
— basedfoot (@Killerfreaksfos) February 7, 2013
Next up – Memphis
The Warriors will welcome back Bogut to the lineup Friday at Memphis, which has won the last eight games against Golden State, including a pair earlier in the season at Oracle Arena. The Warriors' last win against the Grizzlies came on Nov. 3, 2010. Memphis lost 103-92 at Atlanta on Wednesday.
Clippers 86, Magic 76: Pacific-Division leading Los Angeles ended a three-game losing streak behind 27 points from Eric Bledsoe. … Heat 114, Rockets 108: A day after torching the Warriors, the Rockets fell on the road despite 36 points from James Harden.