ORACLE ARENA — The Warriors cracked down on the Thunder Wednesday night, with an all-out battle culminating in a 104-99, big-time win for Golden State against the team with the best record in the NBA.
It was a back and forth grind for both teams, with 19 lead changes throughout the game. Stephen Curry scored 27 of his 31 points in the first three quarters of the game. But when his shot went cold — missing three in a row from downtown — his teammates and the defense took over.
Head Coach Mark Jackson said after the game that his team rose to the challenge and elevated their game:
Post-Game Audio: Warriors Head Coach Mark Jackson
“Just great effort by us, we battled, made multiple effort plays, we made the adjustments. …Our defense responded in the second half … we defended at a higher level. We’ve said all along we’re not going anywhere. We know who we are.”
Golden state trailed by 8 early in the fourth quarter but outscored Oklahoma City 28-20 to close out the game. David Lee and Carl Landry combined for 15 points in the game’s final stretch.
Kevin Durant looked unstoppable at times with his 33 points and nine assists, but was proved mortal by his six turnovers — including on the game’s crucial final play.
Post-Game Audio: Oklahoma City Forward Kevin Durant
The Warriors led by two with just under sixteen seconds left in the game. As the Thunder inbounded the ball to Kevin Durant, Curry read the play and intercepted Durant’s pass to a slashing Kendrick Perkins to seal OKC’s fate.
Curry was seen doing some victory dancing during the game after big plays, but laughed about it after the game, saying he didn’t even realize it:
Post-Game Audio: Warriors Guard Stephen Curry
“They were joking with me, some of my team mates, but I don’t even remember doing whatever I did so I’ll have to check the footage on that one.”
After the game, Lee was already looking to the future and the four-game road trip they have coming up:
Post-Game Audio: Warriors Forward David Lee
“It’s been a huge week for us so far, we have a big road trip coming up to continue what we’re doing. …We’ve proven that we can play with anybody and now we need to go continue to take care of business.”
The win over the Thunder came on the eve of the NBA All-Star reserves announcement. A Warrior hasn’t made the All-Star Game since Latrell Sprewell in 1997. But they expect Lee and Curry to be on the list when they are announced on TNT at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Coach Jackson though, had his own announcement before Wednesday night’s game:
“We are a very good basketball team that’s very young, that’s very committed, that believe in each other and believe in the promise. Led by two All-Stars, whether anybody wants to acknowledge it or not, we’re claiming them.”
Warriors audio courtesy Golden State Warriors.