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Warriors overwhelmed by Westbrook, George in double-digit defeat


OAKLAND – Tuesday night was Steve Kerr’s 300th game as head coach, which former assistant coach Luke Walton might say was only his 257th, but his milestone went unrewarded as his Golden State Warriors (41-13) were blown out for the second time this season by the Oklahoma City Thunder (31-24), losing 125-105.

It was overshadowed by the back-and-forth show put on by former teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who scored a combined 67 points, along with Paul George’s 38-point game.

For the second time in less than a week, the Warriors found themselves on the verge of their first losing streak of the season. Friday night, the ice finally cracked as Golden State have now lost their last two games while the Thunder snapped their four-game losing streak at Oracle Arena.

Although it was Westbrook’s three-pointer that put the Thunder ahead 34-21 late in the first quarter, Durant kept pace with his former teammate in the opening quarter.

As the Thunder took a 42-30 lead into the second quarter, Durant topped the Warriors with 17 points and was perfect in five free throw attempts. In turn, Westbrook paced the first quarter with 21 points and was 2-2 in three-point attempts with nine field goals. In the end, it was Westbrook’s 34 points that barely outscored Durant’s 33.

After starting the second quarter with three points, George Oklahoma City a 51-32 lead with back-to-back three-pointers. Later in the quarter, George bumped the Thunder’s lead to 20, their largest lead of the half, with a drained free throw. The Warriors managed to bring their deficit down to 70-57 by finishing the half on a 16-10 run.

While the Thunder scored 19 points off 12 turnovers by the Warriors in the first half, Golden State was 13-15 in free throw attempts and scored six points of their own off six Oklahoma City turnovers. The Warriors would finish the game with 25 turnovers, which took responsibility for 38 Thunder points.

In a quarter where the Warriors are +270, they were -43 against Oklahoma City as the Thunder maintained a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter. At one point, George put the Thunder on top 89-68 with his fifth three-pointer of the game.

And that wasn’t even the worst moment of the quarter.

With 1:35 to play in the third quarter, Oracle Arena erupted in anger when Durant was called for a foul that, as seen on the big screen, Westbrook avoided on his way to the floor. Soon after, the quarter came to an end with the Warriors trailing 99-77.

The Thunder were unrelenting until the end, scoring 26 points in the fourth quarter, as Draymond Green was ejected after receiving his second technical, his 13th of the season, after aggressively tossing the ball to the official.

When David West checked in during the second quarter, it was the first time he took the court since missing Golden State’s previous two games to attend the funeral of his close friend and former NBA teammate Rasual Butler, who passed away in a tragic car crash on January 31. He scored nine points with four rebounds in 14 minutes.

 

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