By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
Forward Kevin Durant scored a new career high 54 points in leading the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Golden State Warriors 127-118 Friday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Durant took 39 points into the fourth quarter with his team leading by 10. He then put on a clinic of off balance 3-pointers and acrobatic mid range jumpers.
The Warriors tried several players on him and doubling him them moment he touched the ball. Nothing worked. Durant scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
It was Durant's sixth straight game of at least 30 points and third game of more than 40 in January.
Oklahoma City (30-10) Forward Serge Ibaka added 21 points and eight rebounds guard Reggie Jackson chipped in with 14 points and six assists.
The Warriors (25-16) got 37 points on 11-for-18 shooting from guard Seth Curry. Guard Klay Thompson posted 26 points. But only five came after halftime.
While both teams talked about playing defense coming into the contest, it was their offense that was on full display in the opening period. Durant and Curry went shot for shot in a high octane 12 minutes.
But it was the Thunder 's bench that allowed them to hold a 39-32 first quarter advantage. Guard Jeremy Lamb and center Steven Adams came in and made an immediate impact.
Fouls slowed the game down in the second quarter. Especially for the Thunder who racked up 16 in the first half.
But that didn't stop the scoring as Durant continued to light it up the Warriors from all over the court. He finished the first half with 29 points as Oklahoma City set a new season high for first half points with a 71-65 lead.
With Curry and Thompson both going cold in the third quarter, it was forward Marresse Speights that kept the Warriors competitive. He was able to get both Adams and Nick Collison in foul trouble with his physical style in the paint.
But it wasn’t enough to offset the Durant onslaught that was to come in the final period.