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News » Best win, worst loss for Warriors

Best win, worst loss for Warriors

Best win, worst loss for Warriors
OKLAHOMA CITY Five days after their most impressive win of the season, the Warriors opened a three-game road trip and closed the book on 2008 with what was arguably their worst loss.

The Warriors hit just 14 field goals in the second half, committed 20 turnovers in the game and had no answer for frontcourt players Kevin Durant, Jeff Green or Chris Wilcox in a 107-100 loss Wednesday night to the Oklahoma City Thunder before 18,229 at the Ford Center.

Two games removed from a thrilling 99-89 win over the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics, Golden State now joins Minnesota, Memphis and Toronto as the only teams to lose to Oklahoma City, which came into the game on a five-game losing streak.

"They deserved to win the game, and we didn't have the pop that we've had in the last couple of weeks for whatever reason. I wish I knew," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "I just thought they played better than we did, more consistent, rebounded, scrapped, got all of the loose balls."

Leading 55-51 at halftime, the Warriors didn't make their first field goal of the second half until Kelenna Azubuike sank a 3-pointer with 6:59 left in the third quarter. By that time the Thunder had scored 11 points, including five points off two turnovers, to take the lead for good.

Green hit a 15-foot jumper at the end of the third quarter to give the Thunder a 78-70 lead. The Warriors were able to cut the lead to three points on two occasions in the fourth quarter, including one with 6:36 left after swingman Stephen Jackson knocked down a 15-footer to cut the deficit to 89-86.

But on the next possession, guard Earl Watson penetrated the lane for an easy finger-roll layup, and the Warriors managed just two more field goals in the next 2:53.

"We didn't make shots, and we didn't pass the ball like we normally do," said Jackson, who finished with 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. "When we don't make shots or pass the ball, we lose. It's that simple."

Golden State raced out to a 24-13 lead midway through the first quarter with Brandan Wright and Jackson each scoring nine points. But the Warriors started to look out of sorts on both ends of the floor after starters Wright and Marco Belinelli each picked up two fouls in the first nine minutes.

With those players on the bench, the Thunder went on a 13-4 run, helped by four points each from Durant, Wilcox and Green.

Durant, Green and Wilcox combined for 74 points, as they took advantage of a lackluster defensive effort by the Warriors, who looked nothing like the team that held the Celtics to 33 field goals on Dec. 26. Thunder rookie Russell Westbrook had 11 points and six rebounds and a season-high five steals.

"We had a lot of mistakes on defense," Jackson said. "There is no excuse, we just lost. You have to take a loss like a man. Got to take a loss and move on. We can't make excuses."

Azubuike had a team-high 24 points, all in the second half, and teammate Andris Biedrins added 15 points and 13 rebounds. But Belinelli, who's been such a spark plug recently, had two points on 1-for-8 shooting and had four turnovers to go with his five assists.

"There are probably reasons why players don't have the pop some nights and have it other nights," Nelson said. "Not that they don't want to do it, sometimes it just doesn't go your way. Bottom line is, we had too many guys that didn't have that pop tonight."

Contact Curtis Pashelka at 107, Warriors 100next game: Friday, at Timberwolves, 5 p.m.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 1, 2009


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