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With a “Different Motor,” Oklahoma City Cruises Past Warriors 120-109

Game story for tomorrow’s paper

The Warriors, on a given night, can beat any team in the NBA, so this year’s mantra goes.

Not when they turn the ball over 20 times. Not when they get outrebounded by 19. Not when two of their top scorers total 28 points on 11-for-33 shooting. That’s the kind of night the Warriors had against Oklahoma City, so it’s no wonder Golden State fell 120-109.

The Warriors (6-12) missed their chance to gain some much-needed momentum, which is exactly what beating the owners of the NBA’s best record would have done.

“We didn’t do it today,”Jacksonsaid. “They dominated us. … They dominated us.”

Instead, the Warriors were lit up for 35 points and 13 rebounds by Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant. They were toyed with by Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, who totaled 28 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and seven steals. They were bullied by Oklahoma Citypower forward Serge Ibaka, who finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Oklahoma City grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and outscored the Warriors 58-28 in the paint.

“Their big guys played with a different motor,” Jackson said. “I’m going to find guys that are going to play with a motor. I will live with mistakes. But I need guys to play with energy, effort, passion – pursue the basketball.”

Guards Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry weren’t able to turn it on at all.

Ellis, who went 2-for-9 in Wednesday’s win over Portland, finished with 13 points on 5-for-17 shooting. Curry’s performance, thanks to a few baskets down the stretch, looked better on paper than it actually was. He finished with 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting. He and Ellis combined for 12 assists and seven turnovers.

“We’ve got to find a way,” Ellis said. “That means everyone has to step up. Everyone has to do a little more.”

Golden State was doing good to be down just 57-52 at the half. The Warriors were outrebounded by 10, turned the ball over 11 times and put Oklahoma City at the line 20 times.

At that point, Curry was scoreless on five shots, three fouls limiting him to just shy of three minutes in the second quarter. It was a far cry from his usual performances against Oklahoma City.

Last season, Curry averaged 30.5 points against the Thunder, including 39 and 35-point games in Oklahoma City. In seven career games against the Thunder, Curry averages 25.9 points on 58.6 percent shooting – which includes 21-for-39 from 3-point range – with 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals.

Ellis wasn’t much better, posting five points on seven shots the first two quarters.

The two showed some signs in the third quarter, combining for 16 points. A 3-pointer by Curry had the Warriors within 63-61 midway through the third. Moments later, a fast-break layup by Ellis cut the Thunder’s lead to 65-64.

But Oklahoma City closed the third quarter with a 20-13 run. The Thunder had too much size, too many weapons for the Warriors’ defense, especially down the stretch. And without their two horses, the Warriors couldn’t keep up with Oklahoma City.

Durant scored 15 points in the fourth quarter. Westbrook had eight points and five rebounds, banking a 3-pointer to stiff-arm the Warriors’ attempt at a rally. Ibaka scored six in the final period, including a thunderous dunk to punctuate the night.

“A little over six minutes to go, it’s a ball game,” Jackson said. “They scored 28 points in the last (6:03). They have a different motor. They are a different animal. We have to learn to do that. We don’t have the luxury to be able to turn it on when we want it. It’s a good lesson.”

* When the Warriors unit came out for the second quarter, rookie big man Jeremy Tyler was part of the quintet. For the second consecutive game, Tyler was given minutes when they mattered.

“I’ve been practicing pretty well lately,” said Tyler, who played a season-high eight minutes in Wednesday’s victory over Portland, and they weren’t in garbage time. “I got a chance to talk to coach Jackson and he said keep working hard and your time will come. I was being patient. When the opportunity was there, I was ready. Hopefully there’s a domino effect and it can happen again.”

Tyler played five minutes of the second quarter, totaling two points and two rebounds. He then came in during the third quarter.

Total, he had six points and three rebounds in 15 minutes.But the bigger gesture was when he played. Golden State got down by 10 and trailed 28-23 at the end of the third quarter. Jackson had enough confidence in Tyler to bring him in even though the Warriors still had catching up to do.

“There are things that he does very well on the basketball court – diving to the hoop, rebounding the basketball, looking to attack offensively,”Jackson said. “And it was a great opportunity for him. Give him credit … he came in and capitalized on an opportunity that presented itself. The thing for him now is to build on it.”

Jackson warned not to get too carried away, as Tyler is still the third of three options at center. ButTylercould see regular spot minutes if he continues his progress.

Spot minutes are certainly better than playing for the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League, which is where the Warriors sent rookie forward Chris Wright on Thursday.

Tyler– who played two years overseas (what would have been his senior year of high school and first year of college) before being drafted in the second round in June – said he’s been soaking up all he can from veterans. Since back-up center Kwame Brown went down with a torn chest muscle,Tylerhas gotten more action in practice.

Tyler said other than a few expected adjustments, things “have been positive.”

“I’m getting that whole pace of the game (down), getting an understanding that this is another level from where I came from,”Tylersaid. “Mentally and physically, I know I’m ready. But there are still little things. It takes time. I’ve got to learn.”

* Warriors rookie swingman Klay Thompson matched his career-high with 14 points. He played 19 minutes of the bench and made 6 of 8 from the field.

Thompson, not known for his defense, blocked three shots.

Marcus Thompson

  • Niners in 2012

    Let’s see, Westbrook/Harden outplayed Monta/Curry, Durant outplayed DWright, Ibaka outplayed DLee, Perk outplayed Biedrins. We didn’t win a single match-up, oh and we didn’t win a single quarter either.

    The Lakers, who are head and shoulders ahead of us are the 8th seed right now, it just shows you how far away we are from competing. But Lacob still believes in this group, amazing. It’s just a depressing situation.

  • Zak

    The thing is the Ws are truly not in the same league with OKC, admittedly a team that should well be able to make the finals. So the fact that the Ws could beat them, like they beat the Heat or the Bulls really doesn’t mean squat. Because it seems the only real difference with OKC is they’re really trying hard.

    But the Ws are going to have to toughen the mental attitude that probably amounted to the 10 more victories last year.

    Tom Tolbert’s now saying what I’ve been saying: enough with Monta handling the ball up the floor in critical possessions at the end of quarters. Same theory needs to apply period. Monta needs to be transitioning quicker to get up the floor and catch the lead passes so he can make the decision to pass or shoot, the Ws are just never going to win the half court game.

  • Young

    True Niners in 2012!

    I’m thinking the same thing. Lacob this is your show and since you loove to walking around talking about it, time to deliver on your promises!

    Lacob made Warriors fans 2 promises this year we can not let him off the hook for:

    1. A top center
    2. The Playoffs

    The Hornets are now offering Kaman for nothing in return. They simply wanna dump his salary this year and not take on financial commitments in return, so basically eat Kaman’s $14M this year.

    Why not us? The 5 is our weakest point and the warriors are ranked 16th in the league in Payroll with only $60M in commitment this year (lakers are #1 with $85M) http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm

    Sooo Mr. Lacob, how about you put your money where your mouth is and bring us in a 5! or stop talking playoffs bc your more committed to profits than winning (Mr. Cohan)

  • Yoda

    You don’t understand. We have to LEARN how to win those matchups. Just ask the coach.

  • rotfogel

    The 2008 NBA draft:
    Ws pick (14th): Anthony Randolph
    The 17th pick: Roy Hibbert
    The 18th pick: JaVale Magee
    The 19th pick: JJ Hickson
    The 21st pick: Ryan Anderson
    The 24th pick: Serge Ibaka
    The 25th pick: Nicolas Batum
    The 35th pick: DeAndre Jordan

    And we all know the Greg Monroe fiasco.
    Good job Ws front office…a baby could make better picks than you.

  • deano

    Rotofogel: I agree, provided the baby can read and in 2008 had access to the NBA’s stats for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons. In 2008, AR was widely recognized as being in mold of Kevin Durant. It turned out that AR is more in the mold of Chris Washburn. That pick hurt even more.

    On the other hand, GSW picked up both Gilbert Arenas and Monta Elllis in the second round of their Drafts. Sometimes they get it right. Not often enough; but the choices are never obvious, even to a baby.

  • P Faced T Nose

    Deano, you must be a shill. Warriors employees always post on boards with this same excuse.

    As for Arenas, he got away because the Salary cap was tied up with garbage (Caffey, Dampier, Mills), while the Spurs kept Ginobli the same year in the same situation, despite having Duncan on the roster.

    And Larry Riley is still employed? Why? Why was Rowell kept around for a year? Why didn’t Ellison get the team since he gave the highest bid?

  • robert rowell

    nate robinson’s stare down of the okc bench after his luckly half-court chuck went in before the end of the half tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about him and why not one, not two, but three teams basically told him to pack his bags and get out.

    yet W’s fans love the me first chucker who is out of control, turnover prone and also incredibly exciting. look — you want to know why the W’s are so bad year after year? this is why. the W’s FO must fill the humongous gaps in the roster (because of their incompetence) with the NBA’s garbage. GIGO.

    also, i haven’t seen it brought up, but i wonder if pastor jackson is losing this team already? just a thought based on observation and jax singletary press conference after the loss. “can’t win with ‘em.” = “different motor”

  • rotfogel

    Deano,
    Not necessarily. Take a look at the stats from AR outa college…far from elite. I remember Roy Hibbert and thinking to myself, he’s going to be a solid NBA center. The only people thinking AR had potential was the Chad Fords of the world, espn hack jobs. Ryan Anderson, while not spectacular, was immensely better than AR was in college. To me, at least be a good player in college before you get drafted…right? I believe a baby can and INDEED would make better selections and I feel that it has been fairly obvious as well.

  • Stevo29

    Try this trade;;;Beidrens and Jenkins to New Orleans for Chris Kaman. Salary wise this works. Kaman is in the last year of his contact at $14m. You lose AB’s contract and keep the team intact with a scoring center. And we keep the nucleous and have cap space at the end of the year. And…both these guys get a fresh start. Remember in the NBA salaries are traded, not players….if you know what I mean.

  • moreaufan2

    Man we have to keep our youth, would rather us trade Nate Robinson. Yeah he is a showmen but we need size all around!We cant keep drafting guys and trading them, thats stupid

  • moreaufan2

    Beidrins and Nate for Kaman! he is big and can score, will help out Lee big time!

  • moreaufan2

    Coach jackson was right though, we dont play with that agressive attacking motor on a consistent basis!OKC was coming the entire game, making things happen on both sides of the court, but having beidrin in the lineup hurts us, and even Udoh sometimes, cuz they are both very soft. Tyler at least got out there and competed. he was having fun!
    Udoh always look nervous and scared to just play basketball

  • Mick

    Lets keep in mind that no one looks great against OKC and they have the best offensive player in the league. As for our bigs …they just suck! Minus Lee. Beans and Udoh never play more than 18 mins. What does that say. Yes Udoh plays nice D and has nice hook shot in the post. But he doesn’t board and never plays over 20mins…..WHY!

  • Mick

    Ok I just checked this years stats on Udoh and Beans…Horrible!

    UDOH- MPG 17 FG 39% Reb 3.6 Blk 1.2 pts 3.6

    Beans-Mpg 16 FG 71% REB 4.8 BLK 1.1 pts 2.9

    TWO THOUGHTS in order GREG MONROE and AMNESTY….WHY WHY WHY

  • Young

    @Mick LMAO…nice piece

  • moreaufan2

    Two Words::: Larry Riley

  • Dub Fan

    I was at the game last night and was watching the warmups. At one point, I could have sworn that Beidrens pulled back from attempting a layup because he was afraid of getting fouled…but I could be wrong…

  • Dave

    Why is Biedrins still starting?

  • Dave

    Biedrins last four games: 0 pts, 0 pts, 0 pts, 0 pts. What a joke!!!

  • marc

    Anybody know why the Dubs didn’t go after Kris Humphries? Dude is averaging 13.5ppg 11reb…and he was cheap. Woulda been a nice addition.

  • Dave

    He plays David Lee’s position. He would be nice backup if the Warriors had all of the other holes filled. Warriors need a center.

  • Perry

    Excellent point, “Niners In 2012″…….

    I’ve said it many times, this organization is equal to the competitive level of other cellar dwellers in this league, only difference is Oracle packs a big arena.

    What’s even more depressing is watching the Playoffs and realizing how far behind this Golden State team is.

    The level of play, the usual stand-out performances by big game players and the overall character of playoff basketball shows how this Golden State team doesn’t even belong in the same hemisphere.

    In other cities……Washington, Charlotte, Detroit, New Jersey, Toronto, Cleveland, New Orleans….when the product is bad, the fans do not pay.

    And therein lies the essence of this Golden State organization. Sell a loyal fan base a mediocre product and watch intelligent Bay Area people pay to watch a disaster.

    Lacob is actually smart, this Warrior franchise isn’t his only business. He realizes that the only thing that matters is profitability.

    The most depressing thing is watching other organizations like Philadelphia, like Indiana, like Utah; begin to show more promise and develop right before our eyes while we still struggle to even piece together a 12 man rotation.

    It’s difficult to say what the main issue is with this team. One can argue the zero production we get from the 5 spot and wonder if you slid in an Andrew Bynum type player, what kind of team this team would become.

    Can you look at a guy like Joakim Noah? Always has his arms and hands by the rim, looking for easy baskets, running the floor and defensively as aggressive as any 5 in the league. Can you picture him in the Warrior rotation?

    Is it the backcourt?

    The poor decision-making, the turnovers, the innopportune mistakes all come along with the backcourt of Curry and Ellis.

    Curry’s hook passes on the move into a congested lane with 4 players standing there is frustrating.

    Ellis’ stupid slap fouls on the break allowing “And 1″ situations are upsetting.

    Nate Robinson, while lovable, is hardly anyone you can count on for long-term commitment or growth. I don’t really like his game that much. He ain’t no ‘Jet’ or J. Harden, trust me, he’s not anybody to bank on.

    One of my biggest dissapointments this season thus far is Dorell Wright. I thought that he would begin progressing with this organization, comfortable in the starting role at 3, a lot of confidence from last season and belief from his coaches.

    Smart was a pro-Dorell Wright guy and as is Jackson. I like Dorell, I think he’s a pretty good defender, a heady offensive player and a good shooter. I am dissapointed to see that he regressed this season.

    I think D. Lee is playing about the best basketball he can play. I think he’s a system guy who understands how to score the ball and is a good rebounder. 19ppg and 10rpg from your 4 ain’t that bad, I don’t think that D. Lee is the problem.

    I don’t know anymore, I don’t know what can be done to improve this team and I don’t have the patience.

    This organization is about 37 years away from a playoff berth and 62 years away from a Championship.

  • earl monroe

    with Thompson as hot as he was, what took so long to get him back in?

  • Dave

    They should trade Lee to a contender. Lee is wasting away here. By the time the Warriors improve, Lee will be gone.

  • Young

    Marcus,

    Nice piece covering this Kaman potential trade! But I think Warriors can pull this trade off.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but can’t you just trade a player for a pick (salaries dont have to match when its a player for a pick straight up right?)

    If so, I say send him for a 2nd round pick and…CASH.

    I always see the Blazers or Mavericks or other owners who wanna win send cold hard CASH to get a deal. Why not us? Because as you stated the Hornets want expiring contracts, picks or young talent. They will soon see all they can get is expiring contracts. Kaman aint that good :-/
    Our deal can easily end up being the best offer they get