Chris Paul, Thunder rally past Warriors for first road win
The Associated Press - November 26, 2019 8:39 am
By JANIE McCAULEY AP Sports Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Once Chris Paul gets in midrange jumper territory he considers it “my version of a layup.”
“I’ll take that,” he said.
Paul hit a 19-footer with 36 seconds left to put Oklahoma City ahead and Alec Burks missed a contested shot in the paint moments later on the other end, sending the Thunder to their first road win of the season with a 100-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
“Nice. I didn’t even know this was our first road win,” Paul said. “That’s sickening. That was crazy. … We’ll take it, keep on moving.”
The Warriors led most of the way before the Thunder scored the final 13 points.
“Chaotic. We couldn’t handle their defensive pressure, they turned it up and forced some turnovers,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “… It was frustrating because we had the game right in our grasp and just couldn’t finish it off. More than anything I just feel sick for our guys because they continue to compete and work. They deserve better. But on the other hand we weren’t good enough to close the game out and so we didn’t deserve to win.”
Glenn Robinson III scored 25 points and Ky Bowman added 24 as injury-plagued Golden State competed with just eight healthy players. The Warriors lost their third straight game and 10th in 11, committing five of their 12 turnovers in the final quarter.
“It’s frustrating. Being a young team is not an excuse for that last four minutes of basketball we played,” Robinson said.
Eric Paschall contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds as injured Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson cheered their young teammates from the bench.
Paul’s 3-pointer with 3:01 remaining got the Thunder within 97-90 and Dennis Schroder hit from deep the next time down to make it a four-point game. Schroder scored 22 points off the bench and dished out five assists.
Paul struggled early to find his shooting stroke but finished with 20 points, while Danilo Gallinari had 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists as the Thunder moved to 1-6 on the road.
Oklahoma City snapped a three-game skid — those defeats coming by a combined 10 points.
The Thunder also are without a key playmaker, losing guard Hamidou Diallo for four to six weeks with a hyperextension sprain in his right elbow.
The Oklahoma City-Golden State matchup is a far cry from what it had been in recent years with Kevin Durant playing for the Warriors against his old team. Durant departed in the offseason to join the Brooklyn Nets.
Thunder: C Nerlens Noel returned after missing Friday’s game with an illness. … The Thunder are 8-13 on the road against the Warriors during the OKC era … Oklahoma City returns to Chase Center on March 28. … The Thunder already beat the Warriors twice at home, including 120-92 on Oct. 27 to match their largest margin of victory against Golden State and led by 33 points at halftime.
Warriors: Draymond Green missed a third straight game with a sore right heel. “It’s lingering,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be anything that goes on for too long. It’s also not something we want to aggravate and keep him out for a long period of time.” … D’Angelo Russell missed his fifth game in a row with a sprained right thumb but is expected to travel on the team’s upcoming road trip and will be re-evaluated Saturday. The Warriors miss his playmaking, as Russell has dished out seven or more assists in each of his last four games. … Willie Cauley-Stein had his career-best streak of at least one block end at nine straight games. … Golden State trails the season series 3-0 after the two road losses. The Warriors won the regular-season series 2-1 last season.
The Thunder announced Diallo’s status earlier Monday, saying he would be re-evaluated after that timeframe.
In Friday’s 130-127 home loss to the Lakers, Diallo left in the fourth quarter after taking contact from LeBron James on a driving layup early in the period.
Diallo had just returned from a three-game absence for a sprained left knee. He has played in 12 games with one start, averaging 8.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 21.4 minutes.
“I think for him, being out for a couple games and then coming back and playing like he did, I think for any young player, the concern always for those guys is: ‘Where am I going to fit in? How am I going to fit in when I get back? Am I behind the 8-ball, am I the last guy?'” coach Billy Donovan said. “And that’s not the case I think for our team. We need Hami and I told him that when he comes back we’re going to put him right back into the rotation and try to get him back to where he had been playing before the injury.
Thunder: Visit the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night still searching for a road victory and having won the past two meetings on Portland’s home floor.
Warriors: Host the Bulls on Wednesday night to finish a brief two-game homestand during a stretch with nine of 11 games on the road — including an upcoming five-game swing on the East Coast.
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