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 Thunder beat Warriors on buzzer-beater

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PostSubject: Thunder beat Warriors on buzzer-beater   Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:23 pm

OAKLAND, Calif.(AP) Jeff Green was confident he had more than enough time to get off a shot.Green
scored 26 points, including a turnaround jumper from 16 feet at the
buzzer to lift Oklahoma City to a 122-121 win over the Golden State
Warriors on Wednesday night."Yeah I called it,'' Green said.
"There was a lot of time left. I just had to stay with my shot, not
rush it, and it went in. It feels great.''Green's shot lifted
the Thunder to their third road win of the season in a game that made
interim coach Scott Brooks cringe because of the frenetic tempo.Brooks
had cautioned his team about not getting caught up in Golden State's
run-and-gun style but Oklahoma City responded with its highest-scoring
game of the season.They needed every point.Jamal Crawford
had scored on a similar shot off the backboard with 1.6 seconds left to
put the Warriors in front before Green took the ensuing inbound pass
from Russell Westbrook and made the game-winning shot."I was
just supposed to find whoever was open,'' said Westbrook, who carried
the scoring load for the Thunder in the first half. "I was looking for
Kevin (Durant) but he was covered so I got it to Jeff. It came down to
the team who could make the last stop and fortunately we also got the
last shot.''Referees reviewed the play on a nearby monitor before confirming it was good.Westbrook
matched his season high of 30 points while Durant added 27 points and
12 rebounds for the Thunder, who went into the game with the NBA's
worst record. The win is just the third in 20 road games for Oklahoma
City (9-34) this season.Stephen Jackson had 29 points and seven
assists for Golden State, which played without starting center Andris
Biedrins (sprained left wrist). Corey Maggette added 26 points and six
rebounds for the Warriors (13-30)."I think it's as simple as
(it) went down to the last second and a lucky shot beat us tonight,''
Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "I don't believe (Green) called
bank on the shot. I believe he shot it so poorly it went in. It was one
of those shots.''The teams combined to shoot 93.2 percent (68 of
73) from the free-throw line. It's the highest combined free-throw
percentage in a game with at least 70 attempts since the NBA-ABA merger
in 1976-77.Oklahoma City had 37 points in the first quarter, its
most in any opening period this season, then added 35 in the second
quarter to take a 72-68 halftime lead.Westbrook provided the
bulk of the offense for the Thunder in the first half with 20 points,
including a long jumper at the buzzer in the second quarter.The rapid pace took its toll on Oklahoma City in the second half and Golden State took advantage."I
was worried,'' Brooks said. "That wasn't our game plan to try to
outscore this team in a high-scoring fashion. We hung with them and
gave ourselves a chance to win.''The Warriors went on an 11-2
run to erase a five-point deficit in the third quarter then closed out
the period with a 7-1 spurt capped by Brandon Morrow's 3-pointer at the
buzzer to make it 95-89.The Thunder recovered to take a 116-111
lead late in the fourth quarter before C.J. Watson led a Golden State
rally in the final three minutes. Watson, who was questionable before
the game with turf toe, scored seven points to spark an 8-2 run that
gave the Warriors a 119-118 lead with just over a minute remaining.
Westbrook then connected on a short jumper with 41 seconds left to put
Oklahoma City on top.The teams traded missed shots and turnovers
before Crawford's 12-foot shot banked in to give Golden State a 121-120
lead. That set the stage for Green's game-winner."This one is
tough to swallow,'' Maggette said. "(To) lose with 1.6 seconds, it's
tough. The team did a lot of good things and we came up short. We have
to regroup.''Biedrins did not play after waking up Tuesday with
a sprained left wrist. Biedrins, who is averaging 13.7 points and 12.0
rebounds, was the only Golden State starter to have played in every
game this season before being held out against the Thunder. He is
day-to-day.With backup guard Marco Belinelli (sprained right
ankle) and forward Brandan Wright (partially dislocated left shoulder)
also out, the Warriors' depth was thinned considerably.Losing
Biedrins was the biggest blow. The 22-year-old is the NBA's
third-leading rebounder while his 23 double-doubles this season are
second-most among centers. Without him, the Warriors were outrebounded
39-32 and outscored in the paint 50-42.

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