Warriors hold off Westbrook-less Thunder

Agence France-Presse
Warriors hold off Westbrook-less Thunder


(UPDATED) Steph Curry erupts for 32 points as the Golden State Warriors open their three-peat quest with a win over the OKC Thunder



SAN FRANCISCO, USA (UPDATED) – Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant accepted their championship rings for leading Golden State to a third NBA title in 4 campaigns, then powered the Warriors over Oklahoma City, 108-100, in their 2018-19 season opener on Tuesday, October 16 (Wednesday, October 17, Manila time) at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Curry scored 32 points with 9 assists and 8 rebounds while Durant had 27 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists as the Warriors held off a fourth-quarter fightback to make a triumphant launch to their quest for a third consecutive crown.

The Thunder were without star guard Russell Westbrook, who has not been cleared to return after undergoing arthroscopic right knee surgery last month. 

“The first game could go either way with timing and overall execution,” Curry said. “We had a terrible 3rd quarter but we withstood the run and were able to get the job done.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball better. That will come with more possessions as we get through the season.

“We know what’s at stake. Winning three in a row would put us in some very select company. We’re not shy talking about it. But you have to do the little things throughout the season. I think we’re ready for it.”


The night’s highlight came when NBA commissioner Adam Silver handed out championship jewelry – Golden State’s Steve Kerr taking his third as a coach to go with 5 he won as a player – and praised the Warriors dynasty for far more than on-court skills.

“The Warriors have a tradition of excellence based on universal values like teamwork, respect and unity,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

“They continue a long legacy of NBA players and teams who compete for something bigger than a game by embracing the power of sport to build bridges and make better people’s lives.”

‘Unbelievable journey’  

Then came the final championship banner raising at Oracle Arena, the NBA’s oldest arena, built in 1966. The Warriors will move to a new arena in San Francisco next season.

“Last year was an unbelievable journey,” Curry told the crowd. “We do all this for you guys. So let’s enjoy this all to the fullest.”

Curry scored 19 points in the first half, helping the Warriors seize a 57-47 half-time edge, but the Thunder opened the 3rd quarter with a 22-9 run to seize their first lead at 69-66, German guard Dennis Schroder sinking the go-ahead 3-pointer for Oklahoma City.

The Thunder battled Golden State to the finish, a free throw by New Zealand’s Steven Adams pulling Oklahoma City within 99-97 with 1:57 remaining.

Curry answered with a 3-point play and Kevon Looney added a layup for a 104-99 Warriors edge. Durant followed with an inside jumper with 24 seconds remaining to seal his former club’s fate.

Paul George led Oklahoma City with 27 points while Schroder added 21 and Adams had 17 points and 11 rebounds.  – Rappler.com


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