The Golden State Warriors have something like a hundred and forty-seven ways to score, and it seems like they deployed most of them tonight at Oracle Arena, erasing a twenty-point lead by Oklahoma City and then surprisingly coming up with defense in the last minute or so to edge the Thunder, 120-117.
Comparisons: the Thunder won the rebounding battle, 54-44, but Golden State was far more efficient at scoring: 50.6 percent versus 42.7. (The Thunder actually put up twenty-three more shots, a total of 104.) And the Warriors hit 57 percent of their treys (12 of 21), against 45 (9 of 20) for OKC. The 22 offensive rebounds reeled in by the Thunder produced 19 second-chance points, but it wasn’t enough to ward off the Warrior onslaught.
Monta Ellis (27 points), who’d missed several games with the flu, and Stephen Curry (24) led the Warriors; Reggie Williams added 20 from the bench. Anthony Tolliver, who logged the most minutes (nearly 44), had 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Warriors’ mostly-unheralded defense came up with eight blocks and six steals.
Against all this, another Kevin Durant 40-point performance seemed almost irrelevant, even with 10 rebounds thrown in. Nick Collison, starting in the middle, retrieved 12, as did Serge Ibaka from the bench. Scorers: Russell Westbrook 20, James Harden 18 (nice to see him hitting again), and Jeff Green 16.
This clouds the seeding even further. The Spurs, Trail Blazers and Thunder are all 49-31 now; OKC takes the 8th slot, since both San Antonio and Portland own the tiebreakers. Tomorrow night’s game in the Rose Garden will be pivotal and then some.