The Oklahoma City Thunder hope to continue their dominance over the Golden State Warriors Sunday when the teams meet at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder swept last season's three-game series against the Warriors and come into Sunday's battle in a winning frame of mind. Oklahoma City bested the New Orleans Hornets, 110-95, Friday night in the Big Easy.
The Thunder blitzed the Hornets early with a 36-18 first quarter. They padded the cushion with a 30-19 second quarter and went into the half with a 29-point lead.
"They played with a lot of aggression," head coach Scott Brooks said of his squad. "I thought that was the key to our start. That's how we want to play. We want to be aggressive on the ball, we want to be aggressive on the cuts and we want to be aggressive on the shots."
Kevin Durant was his spectacular self with 27 points on 9-for-12 shooting, including 4-for-5 from the 3-point line. Kevin Martin added 27 off the bench and picked up the slack for Russell Westbrook, who only managed 10 points, but chipped in with 12 assists.
"It was one of his better games on both ends of the floor," Brooks said of his point guard. "He was disruptive. When he plays like that, it puts a lot of pressure on the opponent, puts a lot of pressure on the team and their point guard to run the offense. I thought his effort and intensity was at the highest I've ever seen."
The Warriors head to Oklahoma City with a two-game winning streak. They started their three-game road trip with a 106-98 victory in Minnesota over the Timberwolves Friday night.
Golden State did its damage Friday in the second and third quarters, winning those frames by 18 points.
"To our credit, I thought it was important the way we closed out the second quarter and started the third quarter," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "That was a big time win for us."
The Warriors featured six players in double-figures with starting forwards David Lee and Harrison Barnes leading the way with 18 points apiece. For Barnes, it's a continuation of strong play after a 19-point performance Wednesday night in victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Golden State destroyed Minnesota on the glass Friday. The Warriors won the rebounding battle, 50-34, thanks in large part to 13 boards for Lee.
The Thunder are 8-2 in their last 10 against the Warriors and Golden State's last victory in Oklahoma City came on Dec. 8, 2008.