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Another big offensive night propels Warriors past Thunder

Feb 22, 2009 - 8:00 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Now with almost their full complement of players on the floor, the Golden State Warriors are starting to get things going - at least by their standards.

In another outstanding offensive performance, the Warriors won for the fourth time in five games, outlasting the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 133-120 triumph on Saturday. The win was No. 1,300 for head coach Don Nelson, placing him second all-time behind Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens' 1,332.

"It's good for him to get his 1,300th. It was good to get it tonight," Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson said. "We need to get back on a winning streak after that tough loss to the Lakers. Hopefully we can get another win against the Clippers come Monday."

Jackson scored 26 points, Corey Maggette added 25 off the bench and Jamal Crawford scored 24 for the Warriors, who are averaging 121 points over their last seven contests.

"When I come off the bench, I'm just trying to be as aggressive as possible," Maggette said. "Try to put our team in some type of rhythm because we kind of started off a little slow and I tried to help out anyway I can."

While center Andris Biedrins, who is close to returning, has missed five games with a sprained right ankle, starting guard Monta Ellis - who only began playing in late January due to an offseason ankle injury - is beginning to look like his former self.

With the team's defensive pressure as porous as usual, Golden State had to keep the shots falling down the stretch - and did just that.

"Part of our development, part of our growth, is being smarter and knowing how we play and stick to how we play and dictate the game, how we play, and we let them dictate the style of play tonight," Thunder interim coach Scott Brooks said. "On top of that, we turned the ball over just too many times and we gave them transition points - too many points on the break."

The Thunder pulled to within two midway through the fourth. Crawford answered with a 17-footer and, following Jackson's steal on the other end, Kelenna Azubuike dropped in a driving layup. Azubuike added another lay-in moments later to open up an eight-point bulge for the Warriors.

"How you win a game in the NBA and get 27 rebounds is tough to do," Nelson said. "But we found a way; our offense was clicking and our defense tightened up in the second half and there you have it."

After Jeff Green scored for Oklahoma City to cut the deficit to six, Crawford came up with another long jumper and Azubuike drained a 3-pointer to help the Warriors get some breathing room.

Golden State seemed to seize control in the third quarter, when it turned a tied ballgame into a double-digit advantage. Maggette's three-point play with four minutes left in the period sparked a 13-4 run to open up a 101-91 lead.

"There are really no positives," Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook said. "We lost, we couldn't get a stop when we needed one and they came out with a victory. I think we can play like that if we get some stops and if we play better defense than we played tonight."

The Thunder made it close largely on the back of second-year swingman Kevin Durant - not surprisingly, considering he's been their anchor all season. Earl Weaver found the rangy sharpshooter for a short jumper to cut the deficit to six at the 9:26 mark of the fourth quarter.

After Jackson hit a pair of free throws, Durant answered with back-to-back jumpers, then added a pair of free throws moments later. He buried a 20-footer to pull the Thunder to within 112-110 with just under six minutes to play, but that would be as close as they could get.

"In this kind of game, the first team that plays defense wins the game and they got more stops than we did basically so they got the win," Durant said.

With the loss, Oklahoma City has now dropped five straight and is just 2-7 this month following a strong January. The team put up a strong offensive showing - not a surprise, considering the Warriors give up the most points in the league.

Durant led the way with 32 points and fellow second-year forward Jeff Green added 27, 15 boards and six assists. Westbrook posted 31 points and 11 assists.

"(Durant) had a good game scoring tonight," Jackson said. "We wanted to make him work on the defensive end and we just found a way to make shots and share the ball. As long as we got the win, that's all I'm happy with, any way we can get it."