Warriors' Iguodala sinks Thunder at buzzer

Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State guard Klay Thompson admitted he was demoralized with 2.3 seconds remaining in the Warriors' game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.
After all, it was Thompson who failed to challenge Russell Westbrook when the Thunder guard buried a 3-pointer that gave his team a 115-114 lead.
However, during a Warriors timeout, Thompson recalled swingman Andre Iguodala shocking Golden State with a buzzer-beater last season when Iguodala played for the Denver Nuggets. Thompson, who would inbound the ball on the final play, knew all he had to do was deliver a nice pass to his new teammate and good things could happen.
Sure enough, they did, as Iguodala took Thompson's short pass and beat the buzzer with a 20-foot fadeaway from the right corner, and the Warriors survived an Oklahoma City rally to defeat the Thunder 116-115 in a nationally televised game.
"It went from a terrible mood to the best mood you could have, so thank Andre for that," said Thompson, the Warriors' leading scorer with 27 points. "He saved us all."
Warriors coach Mark Jackson picked Iguodala to take the last shot, and the veteran had plenty of time to envision what he might do with the 2.3 seconds. Then he went completely off script.
"Those are moments when your mind is racing," Iguodala said. "I was thinking I could get to the hoop, but when I caught the ball, my feet were set and I had a good shot."
Iguodala credited, of all people, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
"I took a page out of Kobe's book -- cutting backdoor, (getting) that baseline shot," Iguodala said. "I've seen it a million times, and it worked for me once."
The victory was the fourth in a row at home for the Warriors (6-3), and it came after they scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to build a 100-86 lead.
The Thunder (5-3), playing their second game in two nights, gradually cut into the deficit, outscoring the Warriors 17-6 before Westbrook surprised Thompson by pulling up from well behind the 3-point arc for the shot that gave the visitors their first lead since the first minute of the second half.
"I was going for the win," Westbrook said. "I'm not trying to tie or anything like that. I was going for the win, but unfortunately, it didn't work out that way."
Thunder coach Scott Brooks applauded the effort -- both his team's and Golden State's.
"Couldn't ask for the better game," he said. "Unfortunately, somebody had to lose."
The Warriors hit 14 3-point shots in the first three quarters while building a 95-86 lead that became 100-86 in the second minute of the final period. Thompson had six of the 3s to account for a majority of his team-high scoring figure, and backcourt mate Stephen Curry connected on four during his 22-point, nine-assist night.
Power forward David Lee contributed 20 points to the win. Iguodala finished with 14 points and nine assists, and reserve forward Harrison Barnes, who contributed all three baskets to a 9-0 Warriors run late in the third quarter that helped them pull away for the first time, had a season-high 16 points.
Westbrook paced the Thunder (5-3) with a season-best 31 points to go along with five assists and three steals. He also had a season-high nine rebounds as Oklahoma City dominated the boards, outrebounding Golden State 48-31.
Forward Serge Ibaka, who had a key three-point play during the Thunder's late flurry, backed Westbrook with a career-high 27 points and 13 rebounds. Forward Kevin Durant managed 20 points despite 5-for-13 shooting. He chipped in with eight assists and seven rebounds.
Westbrook and Durant also had five turnovers apiece as the Thunder gave away the ball 19 times, resulting in 29 Warriors points. Golden State had a season-low seven turnovers.
Backup guard Reggie Jackson, another key contributor for the Thunder down the stretch, added 12 points.
"(We) always find a way to make it a two-point game, and that's what we did tonight," Brooks said of the comeback. "It came down to the last two minutes, and both teams made amazing plays at the end. That's what good teams do."
Neither team led by more than seven points in a tight first half that featured 13 lead changes and eight ties.
NOTES: Warriors F/G Andre Iguodala made his fourth career game-winning shot as time expired, tied for the most among all NBA players since the start of the 2004-05 season. ... The last time Golden State was outrebounded by 17 or more and still won the game was Dec. 25, 2010, against the Portland Trail Blazers. ... Warriors backup C Jermaine O'Neal had four points, the third of which was the 13,000th of his career. ... Thunder F Kevin Durant passed Warriors coach Mark Jackson (12,489) for 202nd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. ... The game matched the players with the second- and third-longest active streaks of double-figure scoring games. Durant extended his run to 332 games. Warriors F David Lee scored at least 10 points for the 85th game in a row. ... Thunder C Kendrick Perkins missed his second consecutive game following the death of his grandfather. He might rejoin the team Saturday night for the trip finale at Milwaukee against the Bucks.