The Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) jumps after taking a three point shot that misses in the first half against Oklahoma City Thunder defender Isiah Roby (22) at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Thu May 6, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors Warriors (34-33) started the final stretch of the regular NBA season with a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder (21-46) Thursday night at the Chase Center. The Warriors lead wire to wire to win 118-97. The Warriors were facing a team that had gone from a team with title aspirations several years ago to a team hoping to rebuild through the draft.
Under head coach Mark Daigneault, the Thunder came into Thursday night’s game with a record of 21-45. OKC is tied with Orlando for the fourth-worst record in the NBA. They are one game better than the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have the third-best odds in the draft lottery.
The Thunder’s best play, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, did not play due to a tear in his plantar fascia. Most of the players in the Thunder’s starting lineup have names not well known to Warriors fans. Their starters are Darius Bazley, Kaguentz Dort, Moses Brown, Isaiah Roby, and Theo Maledon.
Behind Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, and Kent Bazemore, the Warriors finished the first quarter leading 31-23. The Warriors second unit kept the Thunder from closing the gap. OKC closed within four 44-40. Curry came back onto the court and hit a couple of threes to help the Warriors finish the first half with a 12-point lead 61-49. Curry led the team with 17 points.
In the third quarter, Curry put another 17 points on the board. Curry connected four times from downtown. The Warriors increased the lead to 16 88-72 after three periods of play.
The Warriors second unit was in control for the entire fourth quarter. Steve Kerr did not have to use Curryuntil late in the period. Mychal Mulder rained down threes on the Thunder. He connected on five threes. Mulder’s hot hand led the Warriors to a 25-point advantage 108-83. Jordan Poole and Mulder finished the scoring for Golden State as they won 118-97.
Game Notes and Stats-With the win, the Warriors are 34-33 for the year. They are in eighth place in the Western Conference 1/2 game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder’s record is 21-46.
Curry had another game with more than 30 points. Curry finished the night with 34 points, four rebounds, and seven assists. He was 11-for-21 from the floor, and he made six threes in 13 attempts. Mulder had quite a night. Mulder’s knocked down 25 points.
Mulder was 9-for-15 from the floor, and he made seven threes in 13 tries. Other players in double figures were Andrew Wiggins with 18, Poole 14, and Kent Bazemore with 13. Draymond Green’s line was five points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. Kevon Looney pulled down ten boards.
The Warriors shot 49% from the floor. They made 19 threes. The Warriors outrebounded the Thunder 58-45. Golden State recorded 36 assists on 42 field goals. The stat indicated good ball movement.
The scoring leaders for OKC were Darius Bazley with 23, Theo Maledon 15, and Ty Jerome, coming off the bench, 23. Jerome knocked down three threes in a losing effort.
Warriors’ next game Saturday night against the Thunder at the Chase Center in San Francisco for 7 pm tip.