Durant, Warriors get first win over Westbrook, Thunder this season
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 28 points for Golden State while avenging an embarrassing home loss to his former Oklahoma City team earlier this month and another on the road in November, leading the Warriors past the Thunder 112-80 on Saturday night.
Stephen Curry added 21 points with five 3-pointers, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals as Golden State put on the kind of defensive performance coach Steve Kerr has been seeking from the defending champs.
Russell Westbrook had 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Oklahoma City, which failed to reach 100 points for the first time in the last five games. The Thunder had scored at least 100 in 14 of their last 16.
Durant’s pretty layup off a perfect pass by Curry with 3:06 left in the third put the Warriors up 75-66. That was part of a 37-11 Golden State run that included 30 points over the final 8:48 of the third — when Zaza Pachulia subbed in to relieve JaVale McGee.
The Warriors held Paul George to five points. George’s 3-pointer at the 7:52 mark of the third with Durant’s hand in his face was his first basket after going 0 for 9 to begin the game. He finished 1 for 14 after going off for 38 points in the last meeting when Oklahoma City left Oracle Arena with a 125-105 rout on Feb. 6.
Golden State also lost at OKC by 17 on Nov. 22.
Draymond Green added 10 points, eight assists and five rebounds. He picked up his 15th technical of the season with 1:04 left in the first half, moving him within one of an automatic suspension. That came after Durant and Carmelo Anthony pushed, shoved, yelled from close range and had to be separated, receiving double technicals.
It was a testy rematch after the Warriors received five technical fouls in the previous meeting. That prompted general manager Bob Myers to address the importance of keeping poised.
Durant announced his decision to join the Warriors and leave OKC on July 4, 2016, making him an instant villain in his former city.
He scored 33 in the Feb. 6 meeting but got plenty of help this time.
Earlier this month against the Thunder, Curry and Klay Thompson were a combined 11 of 27 from the floor and 4 for 15 on 3-pointers as the Warriors lost for the third time in four games. Thompson had 11 points Saturday, shooting just 1 for 11 from deep.
The Warriors on Saturday improved to 8-1 this season in the next game against an opponent after losing the previous meeting.
After Shaun Livingston‘s jumper at the 8:47 mark of the second quarter, Golden State went nearly five minutes without scoring before Curry’s basket at 4:51 started a 7-0 burst.
The Thunder grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the opening quarter to score 10 second-chance points, with Westbrook getting eight boards and George five. But Oklahoma City went 2 for 11 on 3s in the initial 12 minutes — Anthony, George and Westbrook a combined 1 of 8.
Thunder: The last time the Thunder won three of the four games against the Warriors in a single season was during 2012-13. The teams play again April 3 at OKC.
Warriors: McGee made his second straight start at center in place of Pachulia and had an alley-oop dunk on Golden State’s first possession off a pass by Thompson. … Thompson passed Neil Johnston (10,023) for ninth place on the franchise’s career scoring list. … With one block, Green passed Chris Mullin (488) for eighth place on the Warriors’ blocked shots list. … Former Warriors F David Lee attended the game as a retired player and fan, receiving a rousing ovation when announced during the first quarter sitting courtside by owner Joe Lacob.
Kerr expressed his “disappointment” in the scandal and coach Sean Miller’s situation at Arizona, where he played.
“It’s my school,” Kerr said, “I love my school. I don’t really know what else to say.”
Durant received the January NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his giving off the court to help kids, families and other charitable causes for education and communities. He donated $3 million last month to the University of Texas where he played and matched Colin Kaepernick’s $10,000 in the quarterback’s “10 for 10” campaign, Durant’s contributions helping a local organization doing community-based justice work.
“The guy does so much good, like a lot of our players or all of our players,” Kerr said. “I’m really proud of Kevin. I’m proud of all of our guys.”
Thunder: Host Orlando on Monday.
Warriors: Visit Knicks on Monday looking for an eighth straight win in the series.
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