For rather a long time, the Golden State Warriors were kind of meh, but occasionally dangerous. This season, the meh-ness has subsided the Warriors are second only to the Clippers in the Pacific but the danger they present is undiminished, maybe even escalated. Oklahoma City got more of it than they had hoped for: up 88-80 with seven minutes left, the Thunder ultimately was sent away with a 104-99 loss.
Among the major contributors: Stephen Curry (31 points, seven assists, four steals), who started out making treys, and when those began failing to drop, shifted to playmaker; iron man David Lee (22 points, 12 rebounds); reliable sixth man Carl Landry (20 points to lead the bench); sophomore swingman Klay Thompson (19 before fouling out). The Warriors did not shoot especially well, at 44 percent, but this was a case of “It’s not how many you get, it’s when you get them.”
The Thunder was not getting them late in the fourth, and finished the frame 6-18. Kevin Durant turned in a typical KD night, 33 points and nine assists, while Russell Westbrook struggled with his shot (3-16 for 10 points) and the rebounds were spread around. (All the starters had five or six rebounds each, as did reserve point guard Reggie Jackson.) Kevin Martin was more like himself, with 16 off the bench, and Kendrick Perkins actually scored 12. Still, what undid the Thunder was inability to control the rock: they gave up 19 turnovers, including two in the final minute.
The West Coast quest continues at Sacramento on Friday and goes back to L.A. on Sunday afternoon to take on that other team, the one whose name suggests bodies of water.