Gameday: Warriors vs. Thunder - 11/14/13
Andre Iguodala knocked down a game-winning jumper as time expired, lifting the Warriors to a 116-115 win over the Thunder on Thursday night at Oracle Arena. The shot capped off a wild sequence that included Russell Westbrook sinking a deep three to put the Thunder ahead, but Oklahoma City’s lead was short-lived thanks to Iguodala, who finished the game with 14 points and nine assists. Prior to the thrilling finish, the Warriors had built a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter thanks in large part to some excellent marksmanship from the perimeter. The Warriors went 14-for-23 on 3-pointers with the Splash Brothers doing most of the damage. Klay Thompson knocked down six treys and finished with a team-high 27 points, while Stephen Curry was 4-for-8 from deep for 22 points and nine assists. David Lee had 20 points and Harrison Barnes had 14 for the Warriors, who will look to remain undefeated at home when they host the Jazz on Saturday. SOCIAL RECAP
On the game-winning shot:
“The play was actually for Andre (Iguodala). They overplayed him. He has a high basketball IQ. He read it, reacted, stayed patient, got the catch and made an incredible shot. Just a big win for my guys. That last timeout, it was dark in that huddle. Proud of my guys because we fought back and found a way to get a victory even when things seemed to be pretty bad.”
On drawing up the last play for Iguodala:
“First of all, the team was going to put their best defender on Stephen Curry. I thought Andre got a great look and missed (earlier) it. This time, again, I thought he had the advantage and made the proper decision. He made a great shot. We have weapons up and down the floor and that’s the advantage. There are a lot of teams in this league – if the Thunder were in the same situation you could bet your last dollar it was going to (Kevin) Durant or (Russell) Westbrook. We have the luxury of having weapons on the floor. I believe in those guys and today it was Andre (Iguodala) that came up big.”
On their final huddle after the Westbrook 3-pointer:
“They were down. Upset. You look up and say ‘How did they climb all the way back? How?’ You start beating yourself up. That’s when you have a moment. They looked at each other and realized there is still time left and we can execute because we work on it every day. I think it’s a great lesson for us because you can tell yourself that but it’s another thing to experience it.”
On this win meaning more than others:
“Probably. That’s a team that we have a lot of respect for. That’s a team that will have a lot of success moving forward in this season and a team that is going to have to be dealt with come playoff time. We know who we are. We are a confident basketball team that believes that when we play the right way, when we defend, when we execute offensively we are going to win ballgames. That’s against the best and the worst.”
On the play at the end of the game:
“That wasn’t the play. The play was for me to get it, fake the handoff to Klay [Thompson] and then look for my shot, but they switched. Thabo [Sefolosha] is a great defender. He denied me the top side, so I took a page out of Kobe [Bryant’s] book cutting back doors, that baseline shot. I’ve seen it a million times, and it worked for me for once.”
On why he has had a smooth transition to the Warriors:
“Coach Jackson to be honest, Mark Jackson is a great coach. He lets the players play. I’m having fun playing basketball, and that’s what it’s all about. I’m enjoying the guys. The crazy part is we still can mesh a little bit better, and we can become a better team.”
On defending Kevin Durant:
“Well I’ve been in the league a long time. I understand that superstars are going to get calls. They’re going to get their points. If you make them work for it, it might turn in your favor late in the game. In the first half he was making shots. In the second half, you know they played yesterday. It kind of came in my favor a little bit. Kevin’s like a brother. We played on the USA team together, so I enjoyed the battle.”
On Andre's game-winning shot:
“I’ve seen him do it before. He had one against us last year. I’m proud of him. It went from a terrible mood to the best mood you could have, so thank Andre for that.”
On Russell Westbrook's go-ahead shot:
“It hurt, obviously. That’s my fault, I’ve got to learn from that and be up on him. I didn’t realize there was two seconds left. I thought he’s so athletic, he’s going to drive to the rim or something. He took about a 30-footer and in that situation I’ve got to just get up on him and trust my teammates behind me. It hurt, but I quickly forgot about it and knew we had a lot of time.”
On the team's offensive performance:
“We didn’t play extremely well on the offensive end, just missing some easy shots and trying to find our spacing. I thought, with the exception of a couple threes, we took some good shots and they just didn’t fall. ‘Dre [Iguodala] stepped up big for us.”
On the importance of Iguodala:
“That’s why we’re so deep and talented. That’s why ‘Dre [Iguodala] was such a big acquisition for us because he has the history of making big shots and playing well late in games and down the stretch. He showed that tonight and showed why he is so important to our future and where we’re trying to go, he’s huge for us.”
ONE AND ONLY
The Warriors continue their three-game homestand on Thursday, hosting Oklahoma City’s one and only regular season Bay Area visit. Both teams have realistic expectations of being a force in the Western Conference, and the Warriors are certainly hungry to prove that they too belong in that conversation. Tickets are still available for this game as part of a Wienerschnitzel Dynamic Deal, and those unable to attend the game can watch the nationally televised contest on TNT or listen to the action on KNBR 680.
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors took control early and cruised to a 113-95 victory over the Pistons on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena. Never trailing in the game, the Warriors led by as many as 29 on a night in which they shot 60 percent from the field and tallied 28 assists on 42 made baskets. Stephen Curry led the Dubs on their highlight-filled evening with 25 points and eight assists and Andre Iguodala had eight points to go with his 11 assists, including a pair of fancy behind-the-back passes that led to David Lee buckets. Lee had 17 points and nine rebounds and Jermaine O’Neal played his best game as a Warrior with 17 points and six rebounds. GAME
ALL ABOUT THE ASSIST
One of the Warriors’ greatest strengths is their ability to share the ball. The team’s level of unselfishness is staggering, and the starters all have an above-average passing ability regardless of their position. Andre Iguodala put that on display with multiple on-target behind-the-back passes that contributed to his 11 assists on Wednesday, making him the second forward this season to have multiple games with 10-plus assists (LeBron James is the other). The Warriors had 13 assists on 14 made baskets in the first quarter alone and are now 3-0 this season when they get at least 28 assists as a team. In addition, the team is 16-0 in the Mark Jackson era when reaching 28 assists.
LIVING LARGE ON #WARRIORSGROUND
Every team would prefer to play all of their games at home, but the Dubs’ homecourt advantage probably exceeds that of most teams. The Warriors are 3-0 at Oracle Arena this season and have led by as many as 27 in each of those games. Perhaps the Warriors haven’t had the toughest home schedule yet and they have indeed taken advantage of teams playing the back end of back-to-backs, but to only trail for a grand total of 23 seconds is still quite an achievement. Warriors fans have the well-earned reputation of being some of the best in professional sports, and they’ll have plenty to keep cheering about as long as the Warriors keep playing how they’re playing at home.
OKLAHOMA CITY SCOUTING REPORT
The Thunder come into Thursday’s game after visiting the Clippers on Wednesday night. Prior to Wednesday's loss, Oklahoma City had won four-straight games and looked to be back to their elite form now that star guard Russell Westbrook is back. The Thunder won their first four games after Westbrook’s return, and let’s not forget about Kevin Durant. The their perennial MVP candidate is averaging 30.6 points per game and is almost always the best player on the court whenever he’s in the game. Keeping Durant and Westbrook from having a big game will be easier said than done, and keeping the Thunder off the offensive glass will be of equal importance.
GSW: Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery) is out.
OKC: Kendrick Perkins (personal) is day-to-day.