BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Looking to bounce back from a subpar road trip that saw them lose two out of three games to drastically inferior competition, Golden State instead returned home flat and played their worst game of the season, a 125-105 blow-out loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night at Oracle.
The Warriors were plagued by yet another slow start as the Thunder jumped out to a 42-30 first quarter lead behind Russell Westbrook’s 21 points on the way to a wire-to-wire victory, their second blow out win over the defending NBA Champions this season. Once again, shoddy defense and too many turnovers sealed their fate.
Those 25 turnovers, combined with another five technicals, emphatically snapped Golden State’s seven-game home-winning streak over Oklahoma City in a dismal performance where the Warriors seemed to just roll over and never threatened the Thunder’s lead or even made a final run.
Paul George led OKC with 38 points while Westbrook poured in 34 along with nine rebounds and nine assists. Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 33 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough to save Golden State from their first back-to-back losses since March of last year. The Warriors had been 11-0 following a loss this season. It was also the first time this season that the Warriors have lost a game to an opponent that beat them in their most recent match-up.
Steve Kerr, coaching the 300th game of his career, certainly was hoping for a better result. “We are out of whack right now. We are not playing the way we normally do in terms of the ball movement, the pace and the spacing. The defense has not been good either. It’s been a struggle.”
Questioned about the turnovers that continue to plague the team, Kerr stated “Just carelessness. Not making the simple play and not making the extra pass. What the extra pass does is it leads to an easier play for the next guy. I don’t feel like we are making the extra pass to the open guy so that he can then move it on and make an easier play. We are trying too hard to make the great play and hit the homerun instead of just taking the single.”
Asked about the sometimes questionable officiating, Kerr put things in perspective, “We were way worse than the officials were. We got completely outplayed.”
Hoping to improve on last night’s dismal performance, the first time they’ve never led in a game at Oracle since the end of the 2012 season, the Warriors will continue their four-game homestead Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks.