Steph Curry

What we learned as Warriors' Curry hits wild, overturned tournament winner

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The inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament began with a bang for the Warriors on Friday night in Oklahoma City.

Steph Curry's game-winner with 0.2 seconds allowed the Warriors to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 141-139 at Paycom Center, two nights after his Splash Brother Klay Thompson's game-winning jumper against the Kings also came with 0.2 seconds remaining.

Curry's game-winning layup initially was waved off by officials, who called Draymond Green for offensive basket interference. But upon review, the call was overturned to defensive basket after the replay showed Thunder guard Josh Giddey touched the net first.

The wild sequenced fittingly capped a thrilling back-and-forth tournament opener for both teams.

Oklahoma City shot 60.1 percent from the field and 51.7 percent on 3-pointers. The most points the Warriors had allowed this season going into the game was 114. Yet, the Warriors (5-1) somehow, someway pulled off their fifth straight win and fourth in a row on the road.

Curry led the Warriors with 28 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Dario Saric scored a season-high 20 points off the bench, and Chris Paul had 13 assists and no turnovers. Paul now has 54 assists and only six turnovers through his first six games as a Warrior.

The Warriors continue to show they can win in a multitude of ways, getting key contributions up and down the roster.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ wild win.

Dario Does It Again

The Warriors’ bench in the first quarter scored 18 of Golden State’s 38 points, and Saric’s hot shooting was the major reason why. Saric in seven minutes scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting and was 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

Within the first minute of the second quarter, Saric drained his fourth three of the game, giving him 14 first-half points to lead the Warriors. Saric made five shots in the first half and Chris Paul assisted four of them.

The most points Saric scored last season as a member of the Thunder was 21 against the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 28. In his sixth game for Golden State, he scored 20 in 20 minutes off the bench. Saric scored 22 points combined in his first four games, and now has scored 35 in his past two.

Wild Final Minute

A Curry steal with a little over a minute left in the fourth quarter and layup in less than a minute later brought the Warriors within one point of the Thunder. Gary Payton II’s non-stop defense helped force a Jalen Williams turnover, leading Williams to foul Klay Thompson and end Williams’ night.

The foul sent Thompson to free throw line where he made both shots and gave the Warriors the lead. Thompson had only taken three free throws entering the night, and was a perfect 3 of 3. But two Chet Holmgren free throws then put the Thunder back up by one.

Kerr’s closing lineup was extremely small, but the group’s smart’s continued to outweigh height concerns.

For the second straight game, the Warriors were victors on a game-winner with 0.2 seconds remaining. Thompson played hero Wednesday night and Curry did so Friday night.

The Chet Holmgren Experience

The No. 1 overall pick from the 2023 NBA Draft, Victor Wembanyama, visited Chase Center to end the preseason. In the sixth game of the regular season, the Warriors went against the No. 2 overall pick from the 2022 draft, Chet Holmgren, for the first time in his career. Holmgren missed all of last season because of a Lisfranc injury to his left foot.

But it didn’t take long for him to show Kerr and the Warriors how much of a problem he’s going to be in the Western Conference.

Holmgren was responsible for the Thunder’s first seven points between a jump shot, an assist to a cutter and a 3-pointer. By halftime, Holmgren already was up to 15 points and five rebounds.

Standing 7-foot-1, Holmgren scored a career-high 24 points against the Warriors on 7-of-9 shooting and was a perfect 8 of 8 at the free throw line. Holmgren also had eight rebounds and five assists. He’s one of a handful of young unicorns the Warriors will have to watch out for.

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