Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Durant’s triple-double leads Thunder over Warriors

Serge Ibaka, Carl Landry

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) fouls Golden State Warriors forward Carl Landry (7) as he drives to the basket in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant notched his first career triple-double with 25 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 119-109 on Sunday night.

The three-time NBA scoring champion has endured some growing pains this season trying to improve his floor game, with a bump in his assist number coinciding with an increase in his turnovers, too. He came in averaging four turnovers per game, the fourth-worst in the league.

He turned it over just twice in this one and pumped his right fist after he set up Kevin Martin’s 3-pointer with 4:57 to play for his 10th assist. The play also helped the Thunder hold on after Golden State cut a 21-point deficit to seven in the fourth quarter.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points, and David Lee chipped in 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Russell Westbrook scored 30 points and passed out seven assists, and Martin scored 23 off the bench as Oklahoma City had a season-high 31 assists for the second straight game and had a season high in points.

It looked for a while as though Durant might be stuck on nine assists.

Durant and Westbrook teamed up to score eight straight points late in the third quarter, with Westbrook’s 3-pointer from the top of the key extending Oklahoma City’s lead to 86-67. Durant had a chance to pick up his 10th assist before the end of the third period, but instead kept the ball on a fast break and wound up with a three-point play that put the Thunder ahead 94-73.

He started the fourth quarter on the bench, but got a chance to come back in when Oklahoma City’s reserves let the lead start slipping away.

Coach Scott Brooks put his All-Stars back in with 8:18 left, after Curry’s 3-pointer drew Golden State to 101-88. Nick Collison used a nifty touch pass off an offensive rebound to set up Serge Ibaka’s layup, and Durant assisted on Martin’s 3 on the next trip as Oklahoma City stemmed the tide.

Carl Landry had 14 points and Jarrett Jack scored 12 for Golden State, which lost despite shooting 52 percent from the field. Warriors reserve Richard Jefferson pulled himself out of the game late in the first quarter after straining his right calf, and he did not return.

The Warriors wiped away an early seven-point deficit as Scott Brooks continued to fiddle with his rotation following the trade of James Harden and other bench players just before the season started. But just as soon as Andris Biedrins finished off a 7-0 run with a hook shot to put Golden State up 32-31, Eric Maynor answered with a 3-pointer to start a 19-6 response that put Oklahoma City ahead to stay.

The Thunder had a final flurry to finish the first half, with Durant hitting a 3-pointer before Westbrook’s right-handed throwdown on a fast break made it 59-46.

Notes: Asked before the game how he would have defended Westbrook during his playing days, Warriors coach Mark Jackson responded: “Chapel first, and then stay late when all the guys leave to get some extra prayer in.” … Oklahoma City had held its opponents below 44 percent shooting in each of its first seven wins this season. … Golden State had also held seven opponents below 44 percent this season, tying Chicago and Oklahoma City for the NBA lead.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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