NBA: Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder

Golden State Warriors 112 FinalRecap | Box Score 113 Oklahoma City Thunder
David Lee, PF 42 MIN | 2-12 FG | 6-8 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7Lee hasn’t been playing well lately, and depending on who you ask he hasn’t been playing well this entire season. His 17.8 PPG, 9.4 RBG and 2.3 APG averages are more than respectable, but it’s the way Lee gets his stats this is most frustrating. Lee has seemed to abandon his patented midrange jumper this season in favor of putting his head down in an attempt to score or draw the foul. If Lee was showing he can do this consistently we wouldn’t mind, but too often do we see him getting his shot blocked or him simply missing wildly, leading to transition points or a good look on the other end. This is especially frustrating when Lee’s other teammates are rolling — like Curry or Barnes were tonight — and he still forces it up. Lee did manage to grab 12 rebounds tonight, but he also missed two crucial free throws in the 4Q that would’ve possibly changed the outcome of the game.
Harrison Barnes, SF 42 MIN | 10-15 FG | 5-6 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 26 PTS | -6Barnes gave us a glimpse of how special his talents really are on Thursday night. Not only did he impress on the offensive end, but defensively Barnes held his own against the second best player in the world. Durant got his — 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists — but nearly half of his points came off free throws (11). Barnes was aggressive throughout, showing off his improved post-game and superb finishing touch near the rim. Many might start clamoring for Barnes to start if he keeps playing this well, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. While Barnes has all the potential in the world, for this team, right now, his best position is still as sixth man. His performances as of late should give Mark Jackson more confidence in him for big minutes and crucial minutes at that. I’d like to see more small-ball lineups with Barnes at PF — similar to last years playoffs — but Jackson seems to have soured on that so far this season.
Andrew Bogut, C 31 MIN | 6-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 4 BLK | 4 TO | 14 PTS | +3Another solid outing from Bogut on Thursday night. While his line only listed four blocks, it seems it could’ve been near twice that as he was called for a two (or three) questionable fouls that very easily could’ve gone the other way. Still, Bogut came through with 14 points — always a bonus — and eight rebounds. Kendrick Perkins isn’t any threat offensively, but he’s also Kendrick Perkins: a brute, bitter force who annoys anyone and everyone on the floor. With that said, Perkins only played 12+ minutes — Steven Adams played 14+ — as OKC preferred a smaller lineup most of the night. What hurt Bogut and his team the most was fouling out early in OT, forcing the Warriors to play Jermaine O’Neal extended minutes and taking out the Warriors best rim protector.
Stephen Curry, PG 45 MIN | 13-26 FG | 2-3 FT | 11 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 32 PTS | +7Curry was spectacular tonight. We’ve been waiting for Curry to have one of spectacular games where he simply takes over like a superstar does. Whether it was in transition, splitting double teams, pull-ups or using his lightning quick release, Curry displayed it all in Oklahoma City. While not on the big stage of Madison Square Garden, Curry’s performance on Thursday night nearly felt as bittersweet as his 54-point outing last season in the Big Apple. Curry’s line was ridiculous, and even more impressive when you consider Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook were shading Curry all night long. The highlight of the night — besides his entire night of course — was his fooling of Serge Ibaka with some filthy dribbling in the 4Q to put the Warriors up eight. An incredible night from an incredible player.
Klay Thompson, SG 48 MIN | 5-19 FG | 4-7 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +7Thompson struggled mightily as he started the game 1/12 and missing three free throws. Thompson contributed to a total of nine missed free throws by the Warriors. For a team that’s on the road in an extremely hostile environment against one of the best teams in the league, that simply can’t happen. Thompson defended Westbrook for most of the night, continuing his streak of guarding the best (in this case second best) player on the opposing team. It takes a team effort to limit the two-headed monster that is Durant and Westbrook, and the Warriors did a fine job all night, forcing the duo into a 17/47 shooting night. This makes two consecutive games were Thompson fails to break 32% from the floor, and he is undoubtedly being hurt by the absence of Andre Iguodala. He expends so much energy on the defensive end it’s almost understandable when Thompson misses short the majority of the time. Additional rest and a weaker opponent awaits Thompson.

Quote of the game:

“You can tell this is starting to build up into something real cool between us two. We’ll see how it goes.” — Kevin Durant

Looking ahead: The Warriors now try to salvage their four-game (1-2) road trip with a win in Sacramento on Sunday night before returning home quickly for one game against the Toronto Raptors. A three-game road trip follows (HOU, MEM, CHA).

Video of the night:

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Tweets of the game: 

3 Responses

  1. inmyps69

    Barnes was caught just watching Westbrook when he caught the ball from Sefolosha’s save out of bounds. Westbrook was Barnes’ man and he didn’t get on his grill to defend Westbrook.