Basketball

Thunder tear apart reigning NBA champions Warriors

Oklahoma City keep up superb form against big teams by dismantling reigning NBA champions

Russell Westbrook scored 21 of his 34 points in a dominant first quarter yesterday morning (Singapore time), helping the Oklahoma City Thunder build a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 125-105 victory over the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.

Paul George poured in a game-high 38 points and grabbed six steals to lead a Thunder defence that forced 25 turnovers.

Oklahoma City snapped a four-game losing streak despite seeing Carmelo Anthony leave the game for good midway through the first quarter due to a sprained ankle, reported Reuters.

Kevin Durant had a team-high 33 points for the Warriors, who lost a second straight game for the first time this season. They had been 11-0 in games immediately following a loss.

Westbrook was quoted as saying on ESPN: "It's not about them, it's about our team.

"I don't want to make the story about them, that we beat them.

"It really don't matter who we played tonight, our job is to worry about our team, this locker room and that's all I worry about."

The Thunder took command from the get-go, hitting 18 of their first 27 shots while building a 42-28 lead late in the first period. Westbrook had half the field goals on just 11 shots in his 21-point explosion.

In leading his team to a second consecutive win over the Warriors, Westbrook made 13 of his 26 shots overall and also found time for nine rebounds and nine assists.

George, who connected on six three-pointers in the game, scored 10 points in the third quarter, when the Thunder extended a 70-57 half-time lead to as many as 24 points on two occasions late in the period.

Jerami Grant added 16 points and Steven Adams recorded a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Thunder, who had lost seven straight at Golden State.

Anthony missed all four of his shots in a scoreless six minutes before getting hurt.

It really don't matter who we played tonight, our job is to worry about our team, this locker room and that's all I worry about Thunder star Russell Westbrook, on beating Western Conference leaders Warriors

Facing Oklahoma City for the third time in Oakland after leaving as a free agent in the summer of 2016, Durant used 14-for-15 success at the free-throw line as the main source of his point total.

Durant had scored 39 and 40 points in his previous two home games against his former club.

The Thunder's win reinforced their reputation as a big-game outfit.

This season, they are 5-0 against the Warriors, Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors. The winning margins averaged a whopping 16.6 points.

"It don't catch my attention," said Anthony, of the remarkable record.

"I'm with these guys every single day. We put the work in every single day.

"Maybe it catches you guys' attention, but I know what type of team we have, what type of group we are, what we're capable of."

Stephen Curry put up 21 points and Klay Thompson 12 for Golden State, which was tipping off a four-game homestand.

The loss, which featured the ejection of Warriors forward Draymond Green for drawing two technical fouls, came in Golden State coach Steve Kerr's 300th game. His record fell to 248-52.

The Thunder converted Golden State's 25 turnovers into 38 points.

Oklahoma City entered the game as the league leaders in turnovers forced, while the Warriors had committed the league's fourth-most giveaways.

OTHER RESULTS:

Orlando 116 Cleveland 98, Atlanta 108 Memphis 82, Brooklyn 113 Houston 123, NY Knicks 89 Milwaukee 103, Toronto 111 Boston 91, Philadelphia 115 Washington 102, LA Lakers 112 Phoenix 93

Basketball