OKLAHOMA CITY (DPA, REUTERS) - It has been a frustrating start to the season for last season's National Basketball Association (NBA) finalists Golden State Warriors.
They lost 120-92 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday (Oct 27), starting the season with two straight losses.
Frustrations boiled over in a game that, like the opening night defeat by the Los Angeles Clippers, was out of reach early. Warriors coach Steve Kerr kicked the scorer's table and guard Stephen Curry debated a technical, all before guard D'Angelo Russell was ejected in the third quarter for a verbal tirade directed at an official.
Golden State fell behind 15-3 early, with Curry being the only Warriors player to score by the first break in the game midway through the first quarter. By half-time, the Warriors were down 70-37 and trailed by as many as 42 points.
In another game, Jae Crowder drained a three-pointer as time expired in overtime to lift the hosts Memphis Grizzlies to a 134-133 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn appeared poised to record its second win in three outings after Memphis rookie Ja Morant failed to connect with Kyle Anderson on an inbounds pass with 8.1 seconds left.
Spencer Dinwiddie made one of two free throws to push the Nets' lead to 133-131, but Morant set up Crowder for the game-winning shot at the top of the arc.
Morant scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and pushed the game into overtime with a well-timed block of Kyrie Irving as time expired.
Dillon Brooks made 9 of 15 shots from the field for 21 points, as the Grizzlies overcame an eight-point deficit with 3:20 remaining in the fourth quarter to record their first win of the season.
Elsewhere, Anthony Davis scored 25 of his 29 points in the first half as hosts Los Angeles Lakers defeated Charlotte 120-101. He also had 14 rebounds and three blocks.
LeBron James scored 20 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed six rebounds.
Dwight Howard delivered a solid effort off the bench, scoring 16 points on 8-of-8 shooting, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking four shots for the Lakers.
Miles Bridges led the Hornets with 23 points. Cody Zeller finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds (seven on the offensive end), three blocks and three steals. Terry Rozier also scored 19 points, while Dwayne Bacon added 15 points.
The poor shooting that plagued the Warriors against the Clippers last Thursday continued against Oklahoma City, with the team shooting just 32.6 per cent overall and missing 28 of their 33 three-point attempts. Defence was again an issue, with the Thunder shooting 55.7 per cent overall and 46.9 per cent beyond the arc.
Without centres Kevon Looney (hamstring) and Willie Cauley-Stein (foot), the Warriors started Marquese Chriss at centre and struggled to keep the Thunder away from the rim, giving up 46 points in the paint.
Curry finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 30 minutes. Forward Draymond Green had 10 points, six rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. Both were pulled out of the game in the fourth quarter. Chriss had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists in his first start of the season.
After trading stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George over the summer, the revamped Thunder entered the game 0-2 with the worst-rated offence in the league.
Guard Dennis Schroder and forward Danilo Galinari led the offensive surge with 22 points and 21 points respectively. Second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - the centrepiece of the trade that sent George to the Clippers - had 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
This was the first game of a back-to-back set for the Warriors, who travel to New Orleans to face the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.