Westbrook stars, Diallo hurt in Thunder’s win over Warriors
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Three Thunder players were injured and Oklahoma City still left Oracle Arena with a lopsided win against the ailing, slumping two-time defending NBA champions.
Russell Westbrook recorded his first triple-double of the season as Oklahoma City defeated the Golden State Warriors 123-95 Wednesday night, when Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo was carted off on a stretcher with 7:17 left but avoided a serious injury according to the team after X-rays and Warriors doctors evaluated him.
OKC‘s Terrance Ferguson returned from a two-game absence as he welcomed a baby, then went down at the 5:41 mark of the first quarter with a sprained left ankle and didn’t return. Nerlens Noel received stitches after getting hit in the face during the second quarter.
“There’s just been a lot of things on this road trip that have impacted any level of consistency, our rotation, of having any idea of who’s going to be playing,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.
Diallo’s left leg was stabilized as he was wheeled away to applause from the Oracle Arena crowd. Diallo was credited for rebounding Jonas Jerebko‘s missed layup when they both went down hard.
Westbrook began 1 for 6, then hit his stride, finishing with 11 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds. It was his second game back since missing five with a sprained left ankle, then another when he welcomed twin daughters Saturday night.
“Just having each other’s back. When guys go down, we’re a family here and we have to have our brother’s back, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Westbrook said.
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson scored 27 points apiece, with Durant grabbing a season-best 14 rebounds for the Warriors, who were again playing without All-Star starters Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, as well as key reserve Alfonzo McKinnie.
“It wasn’t pretty tonight, and it hasn’t been these last four games,” Thompson said. “If you want to take a positive out of it, that’s the first time we’ve lost four games in a row under Steve (Kerr). That’s pretty incredible.”
Clearly in pain, Diallo moved himself off the court and was under basket for several minutes.
In a loss Monday at Sacramento, Diallo became the first Thunder rookie ever to go at least 7 for 7 from the floor. He made both his 3-point tries on the way to 18 points.
Westbrook’s 3-pointer 4:17 before halftime put the Thunder ahead 50-37.
The Warriors, who held off the Thunder 108-100 in their season opener Oct. 16 and had won the last three matchups, trailed 60-46 at halftime with just 11 assists to 10 turnovers but opened the third with a 13-2 run to get within 62-59.
While Golden State dropped 10 of its final 17 games last season, the Warriors hadn’t endured a four-game losing streak during the regular season since dropping four in a row from Feb. 26-March 2, 2013. They also lost six straight just before that in February ’13.
CARE FOR PARADISE
The Warriors hosted the boys and girls basketball teams from the Northern California town of Paradise, devastated by the Camp Fire.
Golden State COO Rick Welts and forward Jordan Bell greeted coaches Jerry Cleek and Sheila Craft, players and principal Loren Lighthall along with other evacuees before the game.
Of the 31 players in attendance, 29 lost their homes in the fire.
“It’s fantastic. It means so much to the kids,” said Cleek, who has been at the school 52 years.
Golden State players and Kerr offered messages on the big screen in the second quarter. Six signed jerseys — by Curry, Durant, Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Thompson — were being auctioned while the team also was raising funds through a CrowdRise site, with the Warriors to match up to $25,000.
Kerr appreciated the Warriors’ efforts to support fire victims during a “tragic time.”
“We’re doing what we can and I think people will appreciate it, but obviously those people up there need much more than just to be able to come to a basketball game,” Kerr said. “I would urge everybody out there to chip in and help any way they can.”
Thunder: The Thunder improved to 2-4 on the road against the Western Conference. … G Alex Abrines was out with a viral illness. … OKC won at Oracle 125-105 on Feb. 6 this year.
Warriors: The Warriors dropped to 8-2 at home, 5-1 facing the West. … Curry missed his seventh straight game with a strained left groin and will be out at least through Saturday’s matchup with Sacramento. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated that day. Green was sidelined for the sixth time in eight games — five of those nursing a sprained right toe while he also sat out last Tuesday vs. Atlanta because of a team-issued suspension. … McKinnie missed his fourth in a row because of a sore left foot.
Thunder: Begin a four-game homestand by hosting Charlotte on Friday.
Warriors: Host Trail Blazers on Friday having won the last seven at home vs. Portland but lost two straight overall.
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