OAKLAND – The challenges keep getting bigger, and the Warriors keep cutting them into tiny pieces of irrelevance.
The latest victim is the imposing Oklahoma City Thunder, who came into Oracle Arena healthy and whole and slogged away 117-91 losers to a Warriors team that seems to be hitting its stride.
The Warriors (27-5) pushed their string of victories to four straight overall and their home win streak to 12. They are 14-1 this season at Oracle.
Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Harrison Barnes' 23 points. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry put in 19 apiece, Justin Holiday came off the bench for 12 and Draymond Green added 11.
This game, however, was won on defense. Three nights after suffocating the potent Toronto Raptors, the Warriors smothered the terrific Thunder, holding OKC (17-18) to 30.6-percent shooting from the floor.
Moreover, Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were rendered totally ineffective. Westbrook scored 22 points but shot 5-of-21 from the floor, while Durant was 3-of-16 in scoring 14 points.
The Warriors blistered the nets from deep, shooting 53.6 percent from 3-point range. Barnes led the way, draining all five of his attempts from beyond the arc.
The Warriors, beating OKC for the third time this season, assured themselves of a season-series win over the Thunder for the first time since the franchise moved from Seattle in 2009.
Green provided the grit and everybody else delivered the glamor. And, yes, that's happens quite often. In addition to his points total, Green grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, had five assists and blocked three shots.
The trophy, however, is shared by one and all for the ruthless effort on defense. The Warriors pressed Durant and Westbrook, making most shots difficult and some utterly impossible.
Anytime a team beats the Thunder and holds the dynamic duo to 8-of-37 shooting, that win was earned with defense.
Up 34-25 entering the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 14-5 run to take a 48-30 lead with 8:12 left in the half.
Green hit a pair of 3-pointers to highlight the run, and Barnes nailed another trey to punctuate it, prompting Thunder coach Scott Brooks to call a timeout.
The Thunder got no closer than 14 after that.
F Brandon Rush (flu) was sent home prior to the game. C Andrew Bogut (chondromalacia/bone edema, right knee) and C Festus Ezeli (sprained left ankle) remain out indefinitely.
The Warriors on Wednesday play host to the Indiana Pacers at Oracle Arena.