OKLAHOMA CITY--Kevin Durant had a career night--even by his lofty standards--and the Golden State Warriors couldn't overcome their Oklahoma City woes in a 127-121 loss to the Thunder on Friday.
Durant delivered a career-high 54 points while knocking down 19 of 28 shots. He had 15 points in the fourth quarter and spent the whole night tormenting the Warriors' defense, which struggled for the second straight game.
"We're a good enough defensive team to give a little better effort, fight a little harder," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
It's Golden State's 10th straight loss to the Thunder in Oklahoma City, and the Warriors are 1-10 all-time against them at Chesapeake Energy Arena. They haven't beaten the Thunder on their home court since the team's first season in Oklahoma City in 2008.
It's the second straight game the Warriors were torched by an opposing offense after they allowed 123 points in a loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
"We've just got to compete better," center Andrew Bogut said of Golden State's defense. "I'm not sure what it is. We've just got to be more committed to it. There's no reason for alarm bells, but it's two games in a row where we've given up huge margins."
Stephen Curry had 37 points and 11 assists for the Warriors--plus seven turnovers--but this night fully belonged to Durant, who now has the NBA's three highest-scoring games this season. When Durant wasn't racing past defenders to get to the rim, he was using his 6-foot-9 height and long wingspan to knock down shots right over them.
"At his height, there's not really much you can do when he gets hot," Bogut said of Durant.
The Warriors want to be considered an elite team in the Western Conference, but this night proved why they aren't quite at Oklahoma City's level. The Thunder is without its other superstar, guard Russell Westbrook. And yet the team isn't skipping a beat while it awaits his return.
"They're a really good team, and they've been playing together for a while," Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala said. "They execute everything. When you take one thing away, they've got option 2 and 3, even if Kevin is option 1, 2, 3 and 4."
The Warriors stayed in the game most of the way because of their offense. Klay Thompson had 26 points, although just five in the second half, and Golden State shot 52.4 percent from the field and made 16 of 27 from 3-point range.
"At the end of the day, 121 points for us offensively is good enough to win ballgames," Jackson said. "That's the disappointing part about it."
Golden State trailed by seven points with under 8 minutes to play and was still down by just nine when Durant delivered 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions that helped put the game out of reach. Oklahoma City pushed the lead to 17 points before the Warriors made the final score look close with a late run.
Even with the Thunder playing the second game of a back-to-back--it won in Houston on Thursday night--the Warriors couldn't find a way to slow Oklahoma City down.
"We let them get off to a hot start," Curry said. "When you let a guy like KD--leading the league in scoring--start off a game as hot as he did, regardless of it's a back-to-back or how many minutes he plays, he's going to find a way to continue that."
--Newcomers Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks both made their Warriors debuts. Crawford played well off the bench with eight points in 15-plus minutes. He made his first three shots, including two 3-pointers. Brooks played the final two minutes of the game and scored four points.
--Curry recorded his NBA-leading fifth 30-point, 10-assist game of the season.
--The Warriors shot a dreadful 19 of 34 (55.9 percent) from the free-throw line that included an 0-for-5 effort from Bogut.
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