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News » Green's buzzer-beater lifts Thunder over Warriors


Green's buzzer-beater lifts Thunder over Warriors


Green's buzzer-beater lifts Thunder over Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Jeff Green was confident he had more than enough time to get off a shot.

Green scored 26 points, including a turnaround jumper from 16 feet at the buzzer to lift Oklahoma City to a 122-121 win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

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"Yeah I called it," Green said. "There was a lot of time left. I just had to stay with my shot, not rush it, and it went in. It feels great."

Green's shot lifted the Thunder to their third road win of the season in a game that made interim coach Scott Brooks cringe because of the frenetic tempo.

Brooks had cautioned his team about not getting caught up in Golden State's run-and-gun style but Oklahoma City responded with its highest-scoring game of the season.

They needed every point.

Jamal Crawford had scored on a similar shot off the backboard with 1.6 seconds left to put the Warriors in front before Green took the ensuing inbound pass from Russell Westbrook and made the game-winning shot.

"I was just supposed to find whoever was open," said Westbrook, who carried the scoring load for the Thunder in the first half. "I was looking for Kevin (Durant) but he was covered so I got it to Jeff. It came down to the team who could make the last stop and fortunately we also got the last shot."

Referees reviewed the play on a nearby monitor before confirming it was good.

Westbrook matched his season high of 30 points while Durant added 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who went into the game with the NBA's worst record. The win is just the third in 20 road games for Oklahoma City (9-34) this season.

Stephen Jackson had 29 points and seven assists for Golden State, which played without starting center Andris Biedrins (sprained left wrist). Corey Maggette added 26 points and six rebounds for the Warriors (13-30).

"I think it's as simple as (it) went down to the last second and a lucky shot beat us tonight," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "I don't believe (Green) called bank on the shot. I believe he shot it so poorly it went in. It was one of those shots."

The teams combined to shoot 93.2 percent (68 of 73) from the free-throw line. It's the highest combined free-throw percentage in a game with at least 70 attempts since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77.

Oklahoma City had 37 points in the first quarter, its most in any opening period this season, then added 35 in the second quarter to take a 72-68 halftime lead.

Westbrook provided the bulk of the offense for the Thunder in the first half with 20 points, including a long jumper at the buzzer in the second quarter.

The rapid pace took its toll on Oklahoma City in the second half and Golden State took advantage.

"I was worried," Brooks said. "That wasn't our game plan to try to outscore this team in a high-scoring fashion. We hung with them and gave ourselves a chance to win."

The Warriors went on an 11-2 run to erase a five-point deficit in the third quarter then closed out the period with a 7-1 spurt capped by Brandon Morrow's 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 95-89.

The Thunder recovered to take a 116-111 lead late in the fourth quarter before C.J. Watson led a Golden State rally in the final three minutes. Watson, who was questionable before the game with turf toe, scored seven points to spark an 8-2 run that gave the Warriors a 119-118 lead with just over a minute remaining. Westbrook then connected on a short jumper with 41 seconds left to put Oklahoma City on top.

The teams traded missed shots and turnovers before Crawford's 12-foot shot banked in to give Golden State a 121-120 lead. That set the stage for Green's game-winner.

"This one is tough to swallow," Maggette said. "(To) lose with 1.6 seconds, it's tough. The team did a lot of good things and we came up short. We have to regroup."

Biedrins did not play after waking up Tuesday with a sprained left wrist. Biedrins, who is averaging 13.7 points and 12.0 rebounds, was the only Golden State starter to have played in every game this season before being held out against the Thunder. He is day-to-day.

With backup guard Marco Belinelli (sprained right ankle) and forward Brandan Wright (partially dislocated left shoulder) also out, the Warriors' depth was thinned considerably.

Losing Biedrins was the biggest blow. The 22-year-old is the NBA's third-leading rebounder while his 23 double-doubles this season are second-most among centers. Without him, the Warriors were outrebounded 39-32 and outscored in the paint 50-42.

Notes: Rookie Robert Kurz started in place of Biedrins but was replaced by Ronny Turiaf less than four minutes into the game. Kurz finished with six points and one rebound. ... Watson played nearly 18 minutes and scored nine points for the Warriors. ... Oklahoma City's 72 points in the first half was its most in any half this season. ... Brooks had about 15 friends and family in attendance. The coach grew up about an hour away from Oakland in the small farming town of Lathrop before going on to a 10-year playing career in the NBA. ... Golden State made its first 25 free throws before a Corey Maggette miss midway through the third quarter.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 22, 2009

 

 
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