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NBA

Warriors cruise past Thunder without Durant, making it back-to-back wins against potential playoff rivals

How quickly things can change in the NBA.

Just days ago, the Warriors had gone 4-6 over a 10-game stretch, which included losses against the Orlando Magic and Phoenix Suns.

In the space of four days, the defending champs beat the Houston Rockets and backed it up today against the Oklahoma City Thunder, cruising to a 110-88 win.

And they did it without Kevin Durant, who is still sidelined with an ankle injury.

Steph Curry picked up the slack in his absence, pouring in 33 points, eight rebounds and four assists, while Klay Thompson added 23 points on the night.

The Warriors flexed their muscles early, racing out to a 40-27 lead after the first quarter, with Curry scoring 13 points in the period.

Curry and co were on fire from deep early, while the Thunder struggled to get into the flow of their offence, shooting just 34% in the first half as they trailed by 18 at the break.

OKC came out of the half with some momentum, trimming the lead to 12 points, but the Warriors hit back every time, extending their lead to 87-71 after three. It was much of the same in the fourth quarter as the Thunder's offensive struggles continued, scoring just 17 points in the final frame.

While Paul George led the way with 29 points and 13 rebounds, Russell Westbrook had a frustrating night, recording just seven points on 2-of-16 shooting and 0-of-7 from deep, adding nine assists and eight rebounds.

The regular season has seen the Warriors play below par on the defensive end, and after holding the Rockets to 36.8% shooting, they turned up the heat on the Thunder, limiting them to just 32.3% for the game.

Steve Kerr's men were active and engaged from the jump, forcing 10 first half turnovers, which they turned into 11 points and more importantly, they kept OKC's star duo quiet, holding Westbrook and George to a combined 15 first-half points on 4-of-20 shooting and 1-of-8 from beyond the arc. OKC shot just 13-of-41 from beyond the arc for the game.

Andre Iguodala started at small forward and made life tough for George all night, who laboured for his 29 points on 9-of-25 shooting, struggling to shake off Iguodala's coverage.

Meanwhile, the Thunder, who have hung their hat on their defence this season, have struggled to re-capture their form from earlier in the season.

While the Thunder still have plenty of question marks ahead of the playoffs, the Warriors performance today highlights that there is indeed a switch they can flip, making their struggles from the past two weeks seem like a distant memory.

Next up they face an in-form San Antonio Spurs team, who are riding the longest-active win streak in the NBA after winning their eighth game in a row today against the Postland Trail Blazers.

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