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.

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- There was plenty of tension and more than a few pulse-stopping moments, but the Warriors found a way to win their seventh consecutive game.

The Warriors’ 106-94 victory Sunday over the admirably recalcitrant Memphis Grizzlies was a work in persistence and overcome moments in which the worst of their work was on full display before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson scored 31 points to lead the offense. Stephen Curry had 21 points and a game-high 11 assists, Andre Iguodala had 20 and Matt Barnes finished with 10 as the Warriors evened the season series with the Grizzlies at 2-2.

The Warriors (59-14) fought off numerous Memphis rallies but turned up the defense in the fourth quarter, holding the Grizzlies to 13 points on 5-of-25 (20 percent) shooting over the final 12 minutes.

The Warriors offset 18 turnovers, giving the Grizzlies 16 point, by shooting 54.2 percent from the field.

Mike Conley scored 29 points to lead Memphis, which fell to 40-33.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

As good as the Splash Brothers were, and they were superb, it was Iguodala’s play at both ends that made a major difference.

Iguodala’s line: 20 points (7-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, 4-of-5 from the line), a team-high-tying seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. He played 32 minutes and was plus-9 for the game.

TURNING POINT

After the Grizzlies pulled into an 81-81 tie with 25.2 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-5 run to go up 96-86 on a 3-pointer by Curry with 4:57 remaining.

Memphis got no closer than nine in the final minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain and bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (L foot strain) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) was listed as out. C Deyonta Davis and F Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors travel Monday to Houston, where on Tuesday night they face the Rockets at Toyota Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

OAKLAND -- Though the Warriors on Sunday will begin a stretch in which they play three games in four nights and five in eight, coach Steve Kerr said there are no plans to rest anyone.

He did, however, leave open the possibility of sitting a couple veterans.

“The only guys who I would consider resting over the next week, barring injury, would be Shaun (Livingston) and Andre (Iguodala),” Kerr said Sunday afternoon, prior to tipoff against Memphis at Oracle Arena. “And that’s routine, because of the wear and tear, the age and the constant monitoring we’re doing with those guys.

“But the schedule is fine. I’m not planning on resting anybody in San Antonio.”

After facing the Grizzlies, the Warriors on Monday fly to Houston, where on Tuesday night they will play the Rockets. The following night, they face the Spurs in a game of particular significance.

Though the Warriors are assured of having the homecourt advantage should they make it to the NBA Finals, they have yet to reach that status in the Western Conference. The Spurs were two games back prior to the Warriors-Grizzlies game.

After returning home from San Antonio, the Warriors face the Rockets next Friday night and the Washington Wizards at home on April 2.

All five teams during this stretch are either in the playoffs and likely to be in. The Warriors entered Sunday with a combined 2-6 record against those teams.