Warriors look to quiet Thunder down south


Warriors look to quiet Thunder down south

March 29, 2011

WARRIORS (32-42) vs.

Coverage begins at 4:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant's shooting touch has been a bit off lately. A game against the Golden State Warriors could be what he needs to regain his scoring prowess.

Durant, who has routinely frustrated the Warriors, looks to lead the playoff-bound Oklahoma City Thunder to a fifth straight home win over Golden State on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma City (48-24) clinched its second straight playoff berth Sunday with a 99-90 victory over Portland. It was the ninth win in 10 games for the Northwest Division-leading Thunder, who own a 4 12-game lead over second-place Denver with 10 to play.

RELATED: NBA conference standings

"A couple of years ago we were the worst team ever," Durant told the Thunder's official website. "Two years later we have clinched consecutive playoff appearances, so it feels good. We just have to keep pushing."

Russell Westbrook led the way Sunday with 28 points and hit three 3-pointers in the final 5 12 minutes, including the clincher with 21 seconds remaining. Oklahoma City is 16-3 when Westbrook scores at least 28.

"Russell has a tremendous amount of pride and confidence in his game and he's improving everyday with us," coach Scott Brooks said. "He made the big shots."

While Westbrook had a strong shooting performance, Durant had another tough time finding his rhythm.

He missed 13 of 18 shots to finish with 21 points, six in the second half. In his last four games, the two-time All-Star is shooting 36.2 percent and averaging 23.3 points - 4.4 fewer than his league-leading average.

Durant has had no such trouble scoring against Golden State (32-42).

In 13 career games against the Warriors, Durant is averaging 30.2 points for his most versus any Western Conference opponent.

Oklahoma City beat Golden State 114-109 at home Dec. 5 and lost 100-94 at Oracle Arena on Feb. 13. The Thunder, 7-1 in Oklahoma City this month, have won all four home games against the Warriors since moving from Seattle prior to the 2008-09 season.

The Oklahoma City Arena isn't the only venue giving Golden State trouble.

The Warriors have lost a season-worst six straight road games, getting outscored by an average of 16.6 points in the last five.

They are coming off Sunday's 114-104 win over Washington, their second straight following a six-game skid. Golden State hasn't won three in a row since Feb. 13-16.

REWIND: Monta leads Warriors over Wizards

Although they were officially eliminated from playoff contention earlier Sunday, Monta Ellis is still determined to help lead the Warriors to a strong finish. He played all 48 minutes against the Wizards and finished with 37 points, a career high-tying 13 assists and seven rebounds.

"This is our job. We're pros. Our season is not over with yet," said Ellis, who has averaged 32.0 points in his last two games after averaging 15.4 in his previous seven. "We still have eight more games, just go out there and see how many we could win."

The Warriors already have won six more games than they did last season.

Ellis is averaging 31.0 points in the two games against the Thunder this season and has topped the 25-point mark in five of the last six meetings.

Golden State's Stephen Curry had a season-high 39 points on 14-of-21 shooting in December's matchup.

Klay 'active citizen in the community' Thompson discusses local TV hit


Klay 'active citizen in the community' Thompson discusses local TV hit

The Warriors had an off day in New York on Monday.

So Klay Thompson hit the streets.

Why did he agree to take part in a local TV hit about scaffolding?

"I was walking and she asked me if I wanted to do an interview, and I said sure," Klay explained to reporters on Tuesday. "Interesting topic -- unfortunately, people got hurt. And it was cool to give my opinion and be an active citizen in the community."

Did she know who Klay was?

"No. It was great. It was nice," Klay answered. "The cameraman recognized me but she didn't ask my profession. Just what I thought about the situation, so I answered it truthfully. 

Don't ever change, Klay. Don't ever change.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Chris Mullin: When Curry played at MSG, 'I couldn't take my eyes off him'


Chris Mullin: When Curry played at MSG, 'I couldn't take my eyes off him'

On Dec. 13, 2008, Davidson beat West Virginia, 68-65.

Steph Curry's stat line: 27 points (9-for-27 FG, 4-for-16 3s), 10 assists, 8 turnovers, 4 steals, 2 blocks.

Chris Mullin was in attendance at Madison Square Garden.

"I watched him coming out of college. I really thought he was gonna be an All-Star player," Mullin told reporters in New York on Monday. "I watched him at the Garden, and he didn't really have a good game but I couldn't take my eyes off him.

"Everything he did. He had a tough shooting night, but he had no problem getting his shot and things like that."

Mullin was named the Warriors' Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in April 2004.

In May 2009, Golden State elected not to renew Mullin's contract.

On June 25, 2009, the Warriors selected Curry with the seventh overall pick.

"I remember when they drafted him -- I was already gone -- but talking to Nellie (Don Nelson), he's like, 'He's gonna be like Steve Nash,'" Mullin explained. "Which, at that time was pretty gaudy and he's gone past that."

On Tuesday, the Warriors practiced at St. John's -- where Mullin is the head coach.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller