Thunder Grabs Western Conference Lead With Blowout Of Golden State

Friday, April 12th 2013, 1:22 am
By: News 9

The Oklahoma City Thunder continued their impressive road play this month, rolling the Golden State Warriors, 116-97, Thursday night.

With the win, Oklahoma City moved a half-game ahead of San Antonio for first place in the Western Conference with three games to play.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 31 points, barely missing a triple-double with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Martin scored 23 points off the bench, hitting 4-of-5 from 3-point range. It was the first time Martin had scored 20 or more points since Feb. 6 against the Warriors.

Russell Westbrook had 18 points and nine assists, while Serge Ibaka had 17 points. Thabo Sefolosha chipped in with 10 points.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points, and Jarrett Jack scored 19 points off the bench. David Lee and Carl Landry were the only other players in double figures for Golden State, scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively.

OKC was very efficient on both ends of the floor. On offense, the Thunder knocked down 12 3-pointers and had 30 assists on 42 made baskets. On defense, OKC had 10 blocks and held the Warriors to just seven made 3-pointers.

The Thunder started off sluggishly, with Westbrook turning the ball over three times in the first three minutes, while Harrison Barnes and Lee helped Golden State grab a 13-9 lead with 7:07 remaining in the quarter. OKC responded with a 13-2 run to take a 22-15 lead, forcing the Warriors to burn a timeout. OKC maintained the lead, thanks in large part to the inspired play of Ibaka, who finished the first quarter with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

The second quarter began with the Kevin Martin show, as the Thunder's sixth man scored the first eight points of the period to help keep the OKC second unit afloat. Golden State eventually tied the score at 49 on a deep jumper from Klay Thompson. OKC responded with an 11-5 run to close the half, highlighted by an incredible block by Westbrook that led to a thunderous dunk on the other end by Durant. The Thunder went into the locker room up 60-54.

Just over a minute after halftime, Kendrick Perkins left the game with tightness in his right hamstring and didn't return. The Thunder scored 36 points in the third quarter to just 23 for Golden State. OKC knocked down five 3-pointers, and Kevin Durant poured in 14 points to push the Thunder lead to as many as 20 in the period.

The Thunder continued to pour it on in the fourth quarter, maintaining around a 20-point lead for much of the period. Martin had a huge put-back dunk and a 3-pointer that made the score 103-82 before leaving the game with lower back tightness.

Oklahoma City finishes off the road trip with a game against Portland Friday night at 9 p.m. CST.