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Iguodala's buzzer-beating shot lifts Warriors past Thunder

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The Canadian Press
11/15/2013 1:41:52 AM
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Andre Iguodala made a baseline fadeaway as time expired to lift the Golden State Warriors to a thrilling 116-115 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.

Russell Westbrook's 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining put the Thunder ahead after they trailed by 14 points early in the fourth quarter. Warriors coach Mark Jackson called a timeout to regroup, and David Lee inbounded the ball from near half court.

Iguodala caught the ball and extended over Thabo Sefolosha for the winning shot, sending the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 into a frenzy. He sprinted toward half court and was mobbed by teammates.

Iguodala finished with 14 points and nine assists.

Golden State trailed for just 23 seconds combined in its first three home games. The Warriors held a lead in each game -- against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons -- of at least 27 points and won by double digits.

Not on this night.

The game started with an outpouring of offence and energy and never relented over 48 minutes.

There were 16 lead changes, nine ties and countless can't-believe-he-just-made-that shots. Neither team led by more than seven until the Warriors began to pull away late in the third quarter.

Westbrook's 3 set off a Thunder celebration just seconds before Iguodala's shot. Westbrook kissed his hand and was bumped by teammate Kevin Durant as both flashed grins near the scorer's table.

All that turned out to be premature.

Klay Thompson scored 27 points and Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists for the Warriors, who made 14 of 23 shots from 3-point range.

Golden State made 12 of its first 14 shots from 3-point range, with Thompson and Curry leading the way. Big man Marreese Speights, Iguodala (2) and Harrison Barnes all connected from beyond the arc for the Warriors by the time the final buzzer sounded, bringing most fans roaring to their feet each time.

But it was Iguodala's difficult midrange jumper that stole the spotlight -- the very reason Golden State signed the free agent away from Denver this off-season to a four-year, $48 million deal.

Oklahoma City outrebounded Golden State 48 to 31 but couldn't put together enough stops to match a strong offensive effort from its three big stars.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Serge Ibaka had 27 points and 13 rebounds and Durant had 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds as the Thunder lost for the second straight night to a top Western Conference team. Oklahoma City fell to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

The Thunder made six of their first seven from long range, shooting more than 70 per cent overall midway through the second quarter under the direction of Durant and Westbrook. But 19 turnovers cost Oklahoma City more than anything, handing the Warriors more opportunities to do what they do best: shoot.

Reserve Draymond Green gave Golden State a 100-86 lead early in the fourth quarter, twisting his way for a layup after taking a sharp pass from Thompson. The Warriors still had to hold off one final push from the Thunder to earn by far their biggest win this young season.

NOTES: Durant was called for a technical foul in the final seconds of the first half after shoving Andrew Bogut. ... Thunder C Kendrick Perkins wasn't with the team for the second straight game after his grandfather died Monday. He was raised by his grandparents in Beaumont, Texas. ... The Thunder fell to 33-8 following a loss since the start of the 2011-12 season, the best record in the NBA during that span. Oklahoma City was 17-4 after a loss last season.

Andre Iguodala (Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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