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News » Thunder win point-fest


Thunder win point-fest


Thunder win point-fest
What happens when 6-foot-10 Andris Biedrins is on the bench in street clothes? For starters, he's not on the court taking up space - on either end.

With the Warriors' center shelved for the first time this season, a whole lot of points were scored Wednesday night. By the Warriors and against the Warriors.

In a game the Warriors figured they had won with 1.6 seconds to go, they fell 122-121 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were making their first regular-season visit to Oakland since they were the Seattle SuperSonics.

Jamal Crawford, who had mixed feelings before the game, knowing he was going against his former hometown team - he spent much of his childhood in the Seattle area - caught Kevin Durant's air ball and drove the length of the court to score with 1.6 seconds remaining, seemingly giving the Warriors a 121-120 victory.

But Oklahoma City, after calling a time out, inbounded the ball to Jeff Green, who turned and banked in a 15-footer that silenced an Oakland crowd that had gone bonkers over Crawford's play moments earlier.

Without Biedrins, the Warriors used multiple little-ball combinations and tried to run the Thunder off the court. Problem was, the Thunder had the same idea, and the result was a good, old-fashioned run-and-gun fest.

Both teams had three players topping 20 points, Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette and Kelenna Azubuike for the Warriors and Russell Westbrook, Durant and Green for the Thunder.

The Warriors made 38 of 40 free throws, good for 95 percent. Their previous game high this season was 94.3 percent 33 of 35 against Portland.

At intermission, the Thunder led 72-68. That's the most points both teams scored in a half this season.

Coach Don Nelson started Rob Kurz as his big man instead of Ronny Turiaf, but Turiaf entered three minutes and 44 seconds after the opening tip and collected a career-high eight assists. Anthony Randolph opened at power forward, but he checked out after five minutes and didn't reappear.

Azubuike led the Warriors at the half with 17 points, missing just 1 of 9 shots, while Westbrook was 8-for-11 for 20 points. The Warriors shot 55.6 percent from the floor, the Thunder 54.2 percent.

The second half also was fast-paced, which delighted the crowd, especially late in the third quarter when the Warriors went on a run that was highlighted by Maggette's monstrous dunk over Durant that tied the score at 84-84.

Anthony Morrow hit a three-pointer while falling out of bounds just before the buzzer sounded, giving the Warriors a 95-89 lead.

In the final quarter, the Warriors were outscored 33-26.

Crawford tied the game at 116-116 with two minutes remaining on a three-point play. Westbrook made two free throws, but C.J. Watson returning after missing two games with a toe injury hit three freebies in four attempts for a 119-118 Warriors lead.

When Westbrook hit a banker over Azubuike, the Thunder led 120-119, and Watson lost the ball on an ensuing drive. It wasn't costly, thanks to Crawford's theatrics. But in the end, Green got the last laugh.

"It's weird because I've known a lot of those guys for a while. I've seen them as Sonics," Crawford said. "No disrespect to Oklahoma, but I'm so used to playing those guys as Sonics."

NUMBERS GAME Rebounds per game for Kelenna Azubuike, who ranked 81st in the league through Tuesday for players on pace for 70 games but second on the WarriorsFirst-quarter points for the Thunder, their highest-scoring first quarter of the seasonConsecutive games played for Andris Biedrins, dating to last season; he sat out Wednesday with a sprained wrist


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

 

 
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