Thunder hand Warriors a second consecutive blowout loss

Michael Kinney, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OKLAHOMA CITY -- For the second night in a row, Golden State coach Mark Jackson had a look of dissatisfaction on his face.
After watching the Houston Rockets rain down 3-pointers on his squad Tuesday in a 39-point loss, Jackson and the Warriors had to deal with the defending Western Conference champions Wednesday.
The Oklahoma City Thunder didn't use long-range shooting to decimate the Warriors. They relied on an angry Kevin Martin to spur them to a 119-98 victory at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"We were not sharp defensively," Jackson said. "I thought we played well in spurts. You give up 64 points in the paint, you give up 29 point off turnovers, it's a recipe for disaster coming into this building against this team. We just did not get it done."
After falling behind by 22 points, Golden State (30-19) had its chances to make a game of it in the second half. The Warriors cut the lead to 11 points several times. However, each time the Oklahoma City (37-12) came up with a defensive stop, then scored on the offensive end.
Midway through the fourth, the Warriors were unable to make any more runs, and both teams emptied their benches.
It was Martin who seemed to make each pivotal play to knock back the Warriors. Whether it was a timely 3-pointer or a steal and dunk at the other end, the Sixth Man of the Year Candidate played inspired ball.
Martin credited his increased energy to what he called "dirty plays" by the Warriors and the antics from the Golden State bench.
"I wouldn't say they were too dirty," Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant said. "But they were physical, and we never shy away from a physical game. I think K-Mart did a really good job of getting mad and getting into a zone. He can get hot pretty quickly. That is what busted the game open for us in the fourth quarter."
Martin shot 8-for-16 from the field, including 3-for-6 on 3-pointers, in only 26 minutes. Durant led all scorers with 25 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Serge Ibaka collected six blocks and 15 points.
Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson each paced the Warriors with 19 points. Stephen Curry added 11 assists, but he shot only 5-for-20 for 14 points.
"Our defense was terrible the last two games," Thompson said. "It was awful."
Ibaka played with an edge from the opening tip. Guarding All-Star David Lee, Ibaka played as if he were trying to show he deserved to have been selected. He hounded Lee and attempted to block or alter every shot Lee put up. Lee finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Ibaka had four blocked shots to go along with 11 points in the first quarter as Oklahoma City led 34-22.
Golden State couldn't buy a basket in the first half, shooting 37 percent. While Oklahoma City's defense had a little to do with it, the Warriors were missing open shots and turning the ball over.
"We did a good job of just getting our hands on loose balls and getting out in transition," said Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, who scored 22 points. "Everybody is making the right play. If they are not open, they are hitting the open guy."
Durant and the Thunder bench pushed the lead to 20 early in the second quarter. They looked as if they were about to put the Warriors away before halftime.
However, Golden State cut the lead to 14 behind Barnes and Thompson before Durant drained a 3-pointer with 2:35 left in the half. Westbrook followed that up layup and free throw to push advantage back to 20. The Thunder led 67-49 at halftime.
"They are a very good team," Jackson said of the Thunder. "They are not going to buckle when things aren't going their way. We made a run, but you have to sustain it. I thought at key points we didn't take care of the basketball. We didn't defend at our level. We have to get back to that."
NOTES: Houston matched the NBA record with 23 3-points Tuesday in a 140-109 rout of the Warriors. ... Golden State's Andrew Bogut was not in uniform. After missing 38 games to start the season with an ankle injury, he has played in four games since his return. The team does not want him to play in back-to-back games until after the All-Star break. Andris Biedrins started in his place, and he had two points and seven rebounds. "Unfortunately we have a lot of experience playing without him," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "He completes us as a basketball team, and we're thrilled to have him back. But we have two centers in Biedrins and Festus Ezeli that can do the job." ... Durant and Martin battle each other every day after practice for the team's daily free-throw championship. Their battle has now includes the rest of the league. Martin entered Wednesday leading the NBA with a .904 average. Durant was second at .903. Martin sank both of his foul shots Wednesday, while Durant went 3-for-4 at the line. ... After losing to Houston on Tuesday, Golden State didn't arrive in Oklahoma City until 4:30 a.m. Severe fog forced the team to detour to Tulsa. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks didn't have any pity for them. "Any team can handle a night of tough travel," Brooks said. "That's just part of being an NBA team. You have to make adjustments. Everything is not going to go smooth. You can't have a bunch of nights in a row like that."