Warriors Get A November Win That Means Something


VIDEO: Andre Iguodala hits winner as Warriors stun Thunder

OAKLAND – The Warriors led by 14 points and had the Roaracle Arena crowd adding to the frenzy, the Thunder counterpunched, and then Golden State made a fist one more time. Russell Westbrook hit, and then Andre Iguodala hit back.

It was supposedly mid-November. Actually, the 116-115 instant-classic thriller Thursday night over Oklahoma City was so much more big picture, with Golden State beating another projected Western Conference contender before it snowballed into an issue, Iguodala delivering a proving-ground moment nine games into his Warriors career, and a finish that can build confidence for a team that could have used a mental boost despite all the gains of the last 12 months.

“It’s OKC,” guard Stephen Curry said. “We needed a win against a team we’ve been chasing. OKC. Memphis. San Antonio. The Clippers. We’ve needed to do well against the best teams in the West.”

Before Thursday, there had only been wins against the Lakers, Kings, 76ers, Timberwolves and Pistons, against losses to the Clippers, Spurs and Grizzlies. There was a team constantly hailed as an offensive machine yet averaging more turnovers than anyone, and then came just seven turnovers against a pretty good defensive team.

And then Thursday started to slip away. The 14-point advantage with 8:10 left was cut in five within about four minutes, then two at 114-112 with 36 seconds remaining, until finally Westbrook daggered a 29-footer with :02.3 showing for a 115-114 Thunder comeback that forced Golden State to call timeout in an attempt to regroup.

“I’ll tell you what, that last timeout, it was dark in that huddle,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “You could tell. But I’m proud of my guys because we fought and we found a way to come up with a victory even when things seemed to be pretty bad.”

Dark?

“They were down,” Jackson said of the Warriors. “They were upset. You look and you say, ‘How did [the Thunder] climb all the way back and now we find ourselves with a little over two seconds to go, down one. How?’ And you start beating yourself up. But that’s where you have a moment. They looked at each other and realized there’s still time left and we can execute. We work on it every day fortunately. I think it’s a great lesson for us because you can tell yourself that, but it’s another thing to experience it.”

Iguodala, a 16-foot fallaway, the ball going through the rim a fraction of a second before the horn, Oracle erupting – it was an experience all right.

Jackson said it “probably” had more value than a typical November win, and he was right. It won’t turn the Western Conference race and likely won’t even mean much if the teams play four or seven times in the spring, with the Thunder able to say they were missing Kendrick Perkins, on a personal leave. But it definitely meant something to the Warriors in the big picture, no supposedly about it.

12 Comments

  1. lucky fri says:

    in the last ten years the warriors had a lot of times a good offensive roster and never had consitantly success. i think the team they got together since last year is better. they are a playoff team and reach them and not 8th with luck all 4 years. lets look hew good they will get. i am a spurs fan and say ok they could beat my team in a series. with d. lee they added some hustle style to gs what has not been part of their game through the last decade. i am happy they split from their nobrainers – especially monta ellis. no team will really get happy with him because his game is against success

  2. Bill says:

    Am I glad I didn’t turn in after the 3rd quarter like I planned!

  3. Notja Kidd says:

    Why did the W’s lose the lead mid Q4? D Lee backing into the basket 4 times down out of 5. He doesn’t do THAT unless he’s got orders to get KD’s 6th…. He NEVER does that so many times in a row.

    And now we know why. In other words, that was on the bench.

  4. AnnoYouLater says:

    GSW and MIN are the most entertaining teams to watch this season…you know they are good but you know they are not establish yet and still need to prove themselves…

  5. jake s. says:

    Good job Warriors. A little luck can go a long way. Especially when you are playing against elites like Westbrook And Durant. I would like to see that luck 4 times out of 7.

    • it wasn’t luck it was skill and the warriors are a complete team…they definitely have a shot at winning it all

    • Anthony says:

      Yeh like Westbrook pullin up from 30 happens all the time at least Iggy was a higher percentage shot

      • Realist says:

        Finally someone with some sense! The Warriors are real deal dont be fooled they beat OKC and Miami late in the season last season. And they are starting to prove that they are pretty much close to impossible to beat at Home.

    • Realist says:

      How you figure Luck? Im tired of ppl speaking on what they dont know. Up by 14 points in the 4th is not Luck. By your reasoning it was luck that OKC was even ahead then right. Westbrook threw up a prayer Hitting a 29 foot 3 pointer. And 9 times out of 10 Westbrook is not hitting that and everybody is getting mad at him for taking that shot. The warriors main problem that they apparently still have yet to remedy is they cant close games decisively. Once they are able to do that Warriors will be very very dangerous. I tell you right now GSW is a team that nobody wants to play in the Playoffs