Warriors

Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Thunder 119, Warriors 109

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Steinmetz's Instant Replay: Thunder 119, Warriors 109

BOX SCORE

Thunder 119, Warriors 109Player of the game: Kevin Durant had a triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists and Oklahoma City stayed comfortably ahead for most of the second half.Key stretch: The Thunder was in control most of the night, and always strung a few buckets together when it needed to. The last time Oklahoma City did that was in the fourth quarter after the Warriors had come back to within 105-98.But the Thunder (8-3) scored on four of their next five possessions, and next thing you know OKC was back up 115-102 with three minutes remaining.Durant had a couple of 3-pointers in that stretch to keep Oklahoma City in charge.Where Warriors are: The loss, Golden States seventh in a row in Oklahoma City, dropped the Warriors to 5-5 on the season overall, and theyre 1-1 on their current three-game road trip. The trip ends on Monday in Dallas.The Warriors beat the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Friday.Curry-Westbrook matchup: In a point guard matchup between young and upcoming players, Stephen Curry struggled against Westbrook.Curry was 2-for-8 from the field in the first half, while Westbrook made 7-of-13.Curry did have a nice stretch in the fourth quarter, helping the Warriors during a run, but Westbrook was the more consistent player for nearly all of the game. Westbrook finished with 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting seven assists, five steals and just one turnover.Curry had 22 points on 9-for-17 from the field and six assists and two turnovers. Its not that Curry played badly. He didnt. Its just that Westbrook was the more impactful player.Hung in early: The Warriors got down seven a few times in the first quarter, once when they were trailing 20-13. But from then on, and into the midway part of the second quarter, the Warriors were right there with the Thunder.But after the Warriors pulled within two at 38-36, Oklahoma City went on a 12-2 run, with buckets from multiple players, to take control.The Thunder went into halftime up 59-46. Westbrook, Durant and Martin, who finished with 23 points in 31 minutes, carried Oklahoma City in the first half. Westbrook had 16 points, four assists and three steals, and had Stephen Curry on his heels most of the half.Curry was 2-for-8 at halftime, for five points, two turnovers and an assist.Durant had 13 points in the half and Martin 12 at halftime. The Warriors starters struggled against the Thunders starters, but rookies Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green did some nice things.

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

Draymond Green usually gets the last word.

Not this time.

"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.

The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.

Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.