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NBA -- OKC beats GSW, stays on top of the West Conference (PHOTOS)


PhilBoxing.com




OAKLAND -- After clinching a playoffs berth two night before, the Golden State Warriors returned to action on Thursday against the Oklahoma City Thunder in front of a sold-out Oracle Arena.

This one didn't have a happy ending as the Thunder walloped the sluggish Warriors, 116-97.

For both teams, the race for playoff positioning could come down to the last game of the season. The Houston Rockets own the tie break over the No.6 ranked Warriors due to their 3-1 regular season edge. This means Golden State must stay ahead in the final standings by at least a game to avoid falling to the No.7 slot which is occupied by Houston.

The 58-21 Thunder, meanwhile, have a slim one-half game lead over the 57-21 San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City split their season series with San Antonio, but they have the tie break due to their superior record in the Western Conference.

Kevin Durant came up two assists shy of a triple-double with 31, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Russell Westbrook added nine assists and 19 markers while Kevin Martin chipped in 23 on 8-of-10 shooting.

Stephen Curry scored 22 to go along with seven assists, but most of his production came in the first half. The other half of the starting back court, Klay Thompson, shot just 2-of-10.
Jarrett Jack added 19 off the bench, but David Lee shot just 6-of-13 for the Dubs. Andrew Bogut struggled with his left ankle injury, and was pulled after the first half without scoring. Kendrick Perkins also left this one early with a hamstring flare-up.

The Warriors managed to hang with the surging OKC Thunder through the first two quarters but a poor defensive third quarter did them in and they weren't able to make up the lost ground.

The fatal blow came in the fourth quarter where OKC head coach Scott Brooks pulled all the starters early, letting the reserves to seal the deal. (DM)







Click here to view a list of other articles written by Doreen Mendez.


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