Warriors coach Mark Jackson has no problem admitting the Oklahoma City Thunder provide the blueprint for what he wants his team to become.
“This is certainly a model,” Jackson said. “They had a tough time early on, winning 20-something games and going through the process. But give this front office, ownership, coaching staff a lot of credit. They stayed through to the process.””
The problem for the Warriors is that they don’t have a Kevin Durant or a Russell Westbrook to build around just yet, and that difference was apparent Sunday when Oklahoma City beat Golden State 119-109.
Durant finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double of his career.
“They have two home run hitters in their lineup,” Jackson said.
The Thunder (8-3) held a 94-73 lead to start the fourth quarter, and it looked as if the Oklahoma City starters were done for the night.
However, the Warriors (5-5) went on a 12-4 run to start the period. That forced Thunder coach Scott Brooks to bring Durant and Westbrook back into the game.
Even so, momentum stayed with the road team, and Golden State closed to within seven points with 5:48 left.
That would be as close as the Warriors would get. Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin knocked down a pair of jumpers to push the Thunder’s advantage back into double figures, and Westbrook and Durant scored the next seven points to put the game away.
Westbrook led all scorers with 30 points to go along with seven assists, chipping in alongside Durant’s big game.
Stephen Curry led the way for Golden State with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting. David Lee had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.