Fireworks in the Ford Center! The second visit from the Golden State Warriors started out much like the first, with a six-point lead after the first quarter and the fans wondering just where the heck the Thunder offense was. And just like last time, six Warriors finished in double figures: Kelenna Azubuike did the most damage, with 24 points, all in the second half. But the Thunder have been working on their damage control, and they held the high-flying Warriors to a mere 15 points in the third quarter, building up a lead and making it stand up in the fourth. It’s OKC’s fourth win, 107-100.
Not to say that Golden State was ever completely out of it until the end: they led through the first half, and center Andris Biedrins was fearsome, nabbing 13 boards, 6 off the offensive glass, and scoring 15 points. And the Warriors deployed the trey with frequency and occasional accuracy: they connected on 9 of 21 from beyond the arc. (Azubuike and C. J. Watson got four each from off the bench.)
But OKC ruled where they had to: points in the paint (60-36), rebounds (45 to 35), and forcing turnovers (they had 18, but the Warriors had 20). They even outshot Golden State, 48.2 percent to 46.1. The Kevin Durant Show was almost the whole game: more than 45 minutes, in which KD scored 25 and got 10 boards. Jeff Green hung around for almost 44 and contributed 26 points. But the secret weapon was Chris Wilcox, who swatted away three shots and hauled in nine boards while scoring 23. Robert Swift is gradually getting more minutes: he played 12 tonight, getting 5 points and 4 rebounds. Earl Watson, from whom we hadn’t heard much lately, put in 34 minutes and scored 11. And Russell Westbrook, getting a little bit of a rest, was on hand for 31 minutes; he got 11 points and five steals.
Okay, “back over .100″ isn’t worth a whole lot of bragging rights, but we’ll take it. And with Denver due in Friday night, we could use the boost. The last time these two teams met, the scoreboard went wild: 298 points scored. Then again, that was in Seattle.