Warriors’ Revenge Quest: Seeking Payback Against Thunder in Absence of Steph Curry

The Golden State Warriors hope the absence of Stephen Curry doesn’t lead to another long-distance disparity when they get a rematch with the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night in San Francisco.

Short-handed Warriors aim to end skid vs. Thunder | Reuters

With Isaiah Joe leading a 19-for-32 assault from beyond the 3-point arc, the Thunder tooka page from the injured Curry and put on a remarkable shooting display in a 128-109 triumph in the opener of a two-game, same-site sequence.

Joe matched his career-high with seven 3-pointers in the win, making all seven of his attempts. He became the 17th player in the NBA this season to hit seven or more 3s, the first to do so in fewer than 10 tries.

The last person to shoot 7-for-7 or better from beyond the arc had been Robert Covington for the Los Angeles Clippers last March. Curry has never done it.

Equally surprising as Joe’s perfect night was his teammates’ success from deep. Josh Giddey went 3-for-3 for the first time in his career and three other Oklahoma City players made multiple triples as the club equaled its season high for successes and easily bettered its previous season-best percentage.

Warriors Want Curry to Set 3-Point Record in MSG: Report

“That was a product of us moving the ball,” Joe said, referencing the 31 assists by the Thunder.

“Once we get the ball hopping, the ball has energy and that showed tonight. A lot of guys were able to knock down shots and you have to commend the offense and everybody willing to share the basketball.”

When the clubs met earlier this month at Oklahoma City — a 141-139 Golden State win — the Warriors made three more 3-pointers than the Thunder (18-15), the 11th straight time that had happened in their head-to-heads dating back to 2020.

This time around, the Thunder held a 19-14 advantage.

One difference in the games was the presence of Curry at Oklahoma City, where he shot 5-for-10 on 3-pointers. He missed his second straight game Thursday with a sprained right knee, one that is scheduled for re-evaluation this weekend with the possibility of a Monday return against the Houston Rockets.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr seemed to point to the absence of defensive ace Draymond Green, who sat out the first of his five-game suspension, as having been more important than not having Curry on Thursday.

“We got to be grittier,” Kerr said. “We got to show more spark and energy defensively. We got to put up a better fight. It just felt like they got anything they wanted.

Warriors: Draymond Green's chokehold of Rudy Gobert brings five-game  suspension.

“Anytime you’re in a rut like this — we’re obviously in it right now, five losses in a row. So when you’re in that state, there’s only one way out and that’s to dig your way out of it and you got to fight and compete and that’s what we have to do.”

Starting in Green’s place, Jonathan Kuminga led the Warriors with 21 points. The Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who matched his season high with three 3-pointers, was the game’s leading scorer with 24 points.

Gilgeous-Alexander sat out the earlier Warriors win at Oklahoma City with a sore left knee.

 

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