Warriors observations: What we learned in 118-97 win vs. Thunder
What we learned as Steph, warriors rumble past Thunder, which originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors climbed back over 500 on Thursday night and apparently have an excellent chance of playing two games for the first time since mid-March on Saturday.
Despite enough sloppy moments to keep the game semi-competitive, they had more than enough for a 118-97 win over the clearly rebuilt Oklahoma City Thunder.
The win put Golden State (34-33) in eighth place in the Western Conference, half a game ahead of the Grizzlies and two full games ahead of the Spurs in 10th place.
Stephen Curry hit a game high of 34, with Mychal Mulder off the bench to bet 25 and Andrew Wiggins adding 18.
Here are three observations from a game that, considering Oklahoma City (21-46) lost 18 of its last 19 games, was mostly closer than it should have been:
The Steph Show
OKC has identified Luguenz Dort as its main defender of the present and future. He's pretty good.
His assignment, however, was curry, which with skill and shooting gained an instant advantage. There took on three fouls in nine minutes of the first quarter and his fourth end of the second quarter and was limited to ten minutes in the first half.
Curry scored 17 in the half but really got going with 17 points in the third quarter. His 34 points came from the field on 11-of-21 and off-the-bow for 6-of-13. He has scored at least 30 points in 18 of his last 20 games.
Averaging 31.5 points per game, Curry maintained his lead in the NBA scoring derby just before Wizards star Bradley Beal stayed on the sidelines of the MVP race.
A goal not achieved
One goal for the warriors in this case is to take command early enough to give the veterans an extra few minutes of rest. You have failed in this endeavor.
They led at 12 towards the end of the first quarter, but Thunder reduced the lead to five at the start of the second quarter. Golden State was up 17 at the end of the second quarter, only OKC pulled within six points by the middle of the third quarter.
It wasn't until the fourth quarter, when the Warriors were 88-72 ahead, that they managed to create enough separation to keep the thunder at bay.
Coach Steve Kerr, who witnessed the setbacks in the first half, reinstated Green and Curry in the fourth, just long enough for the Warriors to get the game out of reach.
At home could use a little more warmth
With this being the first of six straight games at the Chase Center, and with the Warriors hoping for a home advantage, there couldn't be a more attractive situation than starting back-to-back games against a team with a win since March.
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The crowd was lively enough but seemed to be expecting more. With good reason.
The warriors are playing for something. Every game is important. The Thunder play out the season so the front office can evaluate young players to decide which to keep and which to discard.
Maybe the energy - the warriors and the fans - will be higher when the teams meet again on Saturday.
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In this article:
Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder
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