Green's 'emotion' shines through in Warriors' win

Golden State's Draymond Green going to the basket under pressure from Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook. The Warriors forward notched his 2,000th career assist in a 112-80 win for the champions.
Golden State's Draymond Green going to the basket under pressure from Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook. The Warriors forward notched his 2,000th career assist in a 112-80 win for the champions.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LOS ANGELES • After two blowout losses to Oklahoma City, the Golden State Warriors delivered a statement win of their own to beat the Thunder 112-80 on Saturday.

After a see-saw first half, the defending National Basketball Association champions (NBA) Warriors got into a groove, going on a 21-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to seize control and turn the contest into a procession.

The Warriors also avenged a pair of thrashings by the Thunder - 91-108 at Oklahoma in November and 105-125 in Oakland just before the NBA All-Star Game break earlier this month.

Kevin Durant delivered 28 points and Stephen Curry finished with 21 points and nine rebounds as the Warriors improved to 46-14.

"We're champions. We're 46-14 and we've got one of the best road records in the league," Durant said.

The game also saw a Chinese New Year celebration at Oracle Arena as the hosts wore their Chinese heritage alternate uniforms for the second time this season, after debuting them in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves last month.

Thunder star Paul George was held to five points after making just one of his 14 attempts, while a struggling Carmelo Anthony scored only 14. Russell Westbrook, who sat out the fourth quarter, led the Thunder with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

"He's played at such a high level offensively for such a long time, a night like tonight is going to happen," coach Billy Donovan said of George.

Anthony's frustration boiled over when he got into a testy exchange with the Warriors' Draymond Green. The feisty matchup produced four technical fouls during the game; one apiece on Durant, Anthony, George and Green.

Green's technical was for swatting the head of Anthony who then threw his blue headband down on the court before engaging Green.

It was the Warriors forward's league-leading 15th technical of the season. His next in the regular season would result in a mandatory one-game suspension.

"I play with high emotion," said Green, whose night also featured his 2,000th career assist, making him the 11th Warrior ever to reach the milestone. He finished with a game-high eight assists to complement his 10 points. "I'll continue to play with passion," he added.

The Thunder shot just 33 per cent and finished with a season-low points total.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 26, 2018, with the headline 'Green's 'emotion' shines through in Warriors' win'. Print Edition | Subscribe