Warriors fade late, fall to Thunder 120-109

654970.jpg

Warriors fade late, fall to Thunder 120-109

BOX SCORE

Kevin Durant scored 37 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a victory over the Warriors on Friday night at Oracle. Durant went 12-for-24 from the field and 11-for-11 from the foul line. The Warriors are now 1-3 on their current six-game homestand.Thunder 120, Warriors 109Star of the game: Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook dominated his matchup against Stephen Curry on Friday night, finishing with 28 points, 11 assists and six rebounds.Westbrook struggled last season against the Warriors, shooting 14-for-45 from the field (31.1 percent) and committing 17 turnovers in three games.
Curry, on the other hand, didnt have it going. He finished with just 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting six assists and two rebounds. Effort issue: Warriors coach Mark Jackson was critical of his teams effort level after the game, saying more than once that the Thunders motor ran higher than the Warriors'.Jackson was particularly critical of the Warriors big men. He didnt mention Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh by name, but he didnt have to. Jackson used Jeremy Tyler for a good chunk of the fourth quarter.Their big guys played with a different motor, Jackson said. Im going to find guys that are going to play with a motor. I will live with mistakes. But I need guys to play with energy, effort, passion, and pursue the basketball. You can make mistakes, but in general that team from top to bottom had a different motor. And anybody that didnt see that is fooling themselves. Weve got to learn to play like that.Key stretch: With the Warriors hanging around at 92-86, Durant went to work. He knocked down a 3-pointer with five-and-a-half minutes left, then dunked on fastbreak to put OKC up 11.Westbrook capped the run with a three-point play off a drive to put the Thunder up 100-86.Ibaka, too: Oklahoma City power forward Serge Ibaka finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, and it was a night that wasnt lost on Jackson.Serge Ibaka did what weve been asking our big guys to do, Jackson said.It was Ibakas first double-double of the season.Sefalosha leaves game: Thabo Sefalosha, Oklahoma Citys starting shooting guard, played only 11 minutes and none in the second half. He didnt return after experiencing soreness in his right foot.Thompson emerging: Warriors rookie Klay Thompson has begun to settle nicely into his role off the bench. Thompson looks much more confident than he did at the start of the season, and hes shooting the ball from the perimeter very well.Thompson knocked down two of three 3-pointers in the first half against the Thunder, which meant he had made 15 of his past 30 up to that point.Robinsons leer: Nate Robinson hit a shot beyond halfcourt to end the first quarter, then stayed near midcourt for about 10 seconds glaring at the Oklahoma City Thunder bench.Robinson played for the Thunder last season, but the sides decided to mutually part ways before training camp this season. Robinsons heave cut the Thunders lead to 28-23 after 12 minutes.First quarter struggles: Curry and Ellis struggled in the first period, unable to find their range. Curry missed all five of his field goal attempts and Ellis was 1-for-5 from the floor.Meanwhile, Westbrook had nine in the first quarter on 3-for-7 shooting.Sixth sellout: There were 19,596 at Oracle on Friday night, the sixth sellout of the season for the Warriors.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.