By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — Stephen Curry scored 34 points and handed out nine assists, elevating the Golden State Warriors to a 114-109 home win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night after clawing back from a 17-point deficit early in the game.
“We stepped up tonight,” Curry said after the game. “We had to battle tonight and once we got stops and transitions, we felt good.”
Golden State (22-3), bounced back tonight after snapping their franchise-record 16-game winning streak in Tuesday’s 105-98 loss at Memphis. The Warriors improved to 9-1 at home this season, and have won 17 of their last 18 games.
Oklahoma City came out and jumped ahead of Golden State, building a 40-32 first quarter lead. Kevin Durant scored 16 of his 30 points in the first quarter sinking 6 of his first 7 shots from the floor, including 5 for 6 from 3-point range. Oklahoma City made 15 of its first 25 shots.
The 40 points scored by the Thunder in the first quarter were the most points surrendered by Golden State in any quarter this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Durant appeared to be heading for big night, but sprained his right ankle late in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game.
The reigning league Most Valuable Player finished with 30 points in 20 minutes on 10 of 13 shooting, becoming the first player since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976 to score at least 30 points in 20 minutes, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“I wanted to go back out and play, but thought I should be cautious about it,” said Durant after the game.
Russell Westbrook picked up the scoring slack for the Thunder, finishing with a team-high 33 points and eight assists. Serge Ibaka had 12 points, while Andre Roberson finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Six players finished in double figures for Golden State, who converted 32 assists into 48 made field goals (48 of 64) and shot 51 percent from the floor. Golden State shot the lights out from from 3-point range, draining 12 of 31 from behind the arc.
Draymond Green finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, and a career-high nine assists.
Harrison Barnes and Shaun Livingston each scored 12 points, and Marreese Speights had 8 points. Barnes also grabbed seven rebounds.
The Warriors dominated the Thunder in the paint, outscoring Oklahoma City 52-36 and forced 15 Thunder turnovers, while only committing just nine. Golden State rattled off a 35-18 run in the second quarter to pull ahead of Oklahoma City, 49-48, which led to a 65-63 halftime lead for the Warriors who never looked back.
It took a total team effort for Golden State to snap Oklahoma City’s (12-14) seven-game winning streak, after continuing to play without center Andrew Bogut (right knee) and forward David Lee (left hamstring).
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr reaffirmed general manger Bob Myers’ recent comments that Lee could be back on the court Monday for the Warriors’ next home game Monday night against Sacramento
“David Lee will be back next week, probably,” Kerr said.
Bogut is a different story.
Bogut is expected to be out a number of weeks after undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy on his right knee Wednesday.