Warriors Race Past Thunder
Golden State Ties Season-Low With 80 Points Allowed
After a back-and-forth first half, the Warriors exploded in the second on their way to a 112-80 victory over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night. Golden State utilized a 21-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to turn what was once a close game into a blowout. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 28 points, while Stephen Curry filled out the stat sheet with 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. With the victory, Golden State improves to 46-14 on the season.
CHINESE NEW YEAR
Saturday night was a Chinese New Year celebration at Oracle Arena. The Warriors wore their Chinese Heritage alternate uniforms for the second time this season, after debuting them against the Timberwolves back on January 25th. Golden State is now 2-0 in games wearing the Chinese Heritage uniforms.
DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY
The 112 points the Warriors scored on Saturday night were the fewest they’ve scored in a game since their previous matchup with Oklahoma City, but it didn’t matter due in large part to what was arguably Golden State’s top defensive performance of the season.
The Dubs allowed 33 and 42 points to the Thunder in the first quarters of their previous two matchups with Oklahoma City (both losses), but got off to a considerably better defensive start on Saturday. Golden State held the Thunder to 21.4 percent shooting in the opening frame, which came to a close with the Warriors holding a 24-19 advantage. Then, after outscoring Oklahoma City 28-26 in the second quarter, Golden State limited the Thunder to just 35 points in the entire second half. The 80 points allowed matched a season-low for the Warriors, their fewest allowed in a game since defeating the Heat 97-80 back on November 6th.
SECOND HALF SURGE
Still, despite their staunch defense, the Warriors still found themselves trailing the Thunder after Oklahoma City opened the second half on an 11-1 run. After Durant ended the burst with two free throws, Paul George knocked down a three-pointer for his first and only made field goal of the contest, but that would prove to be the last time the Thunder held a lead. Curry immediately answered with a jumper, and Durant’s score on Golden State’s next possession put the Dubs in front for good. The Warriors would outscored the Thunder 30-10 over the final 8:05 of the third quarter, and would go on a 21-1 run spanning the third and fourth frames that put the game out of reach.
Nick Young’s buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the third quarter dealt a momentous blow that Oklahoma City never rebounded from.
The Warriors will take their two-game winning streak on the road when they travel to New York to take on the Knicks in the first game of a three-game East Coast road trip on Monday night.