OAKLAND -- The playoffs are secure, a No. 6 seed is not quite so certain.

And suddenly neither is the status of center Andrew Bogut, who aggravated a sprained left ankle in the first quarter Thursday night and did not return in the Warriors' 116-97 loss to Oklahoma City.

Coach Mark Jackson said he didn't believe the injury was serious, but that Bogut was unlikely to be on the Warriors' 11:30 p.m. team flight to Los Angeles, where on Friday night they face the Lakers.

"It makes no sense. It's important for us to make sure it's right and give it time to heal," said Jackson, adding the injury did not require X-rays.

Golden State hung with the Thunder for a half before the NBA's Western Conference leader pulled away.

With three games remaining in the regular season, the Warriors have just a half-game lead over Houston in the race for the No. 6 spot in the West, and the Rockets also hold the tiebreaker.

A seventh-place finish would mean a daunting first-round playoff assignment against either San Antonio or the Thunder.

The gap between the Warriors and Thunder appeared significant Thursday.

"A performance like that on our home court is tough to swallow," the Warriors' Stephen Curry said.

Although the Warriors trailed just 60-54 at halftime, Jackson said the tone was set early.

"They played playoff basketball, and we didn't," he said. "That was a team that was chasing a No. 1 seed and was trying to send a message: Just in case I see you at some point down the road.

"We didn't meet their intensity. They knew what they were doing. Disappointing for us."

Bogut, who had microfracture surgery on the same ankle late last April, suffered the sprain in Tuesday's playoff-clinching win over Minnesota, according to a team spokesperson.

Jackson said Bogut looked ready to go after warm-ups. But he left the floor with 2:55 left in the first quarter, went to the locker room and remained there the rest of the night.

Thursday was Bogut's 19th straight game after sitting out 48 games this season, 42 of them while rehabbing the ankle.

Kevin Durant, the Thunder's three-time reigning NBA scoring champion, had 31 points 10 rebounds and eight assists. His highlight-reel play was a swooping, full-extension dunk in the second quarter, after which he gave the throat-slash sign, then put his hands together, as if to say a prayer.

"Kill 'em and pray for 'em after the game," Durant told reporters.

Jackson said the Thunder was the aggressor from the start.

"They hit first, they hit hard, and they were very consistent with it," Jackson said. "They didn't wait to see how the feeling-out process was going to be. They came after us."

Still, the game seemed up for grabs until Durant scored 14 third-quarter points to help Oklahoma City surge into a 96-77 lead entering the fourth.

The Thunder shot 13 for 21 in the third quarter, and the Warriors never made another serious run.

Durant finished with 31 points, the 11th time in 21 games against Golden State that he has scored at least 30 points. He also had 10 rebounds and eight assists.

Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 23 points, and Russell Westbrook contributed 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder.

Curry scored 22 points and Jarrett Jack added 19 for the Warriors, who pulled most of their starters midway through the fourth quarter.

The Thunder won the rebounding battle 46-39 and shot 51 percent for the night.

Now the Warriors take their best shot against the Lakers, who are fighting for playoff survival.

"We're not going to panic," Jackson said. "We'll continue to get better, we'll continue to learn."

  • If the Warriors wind up facing the Thunder in the first round of the playoffs, they will open the series having lost nine straight games in Oklahoma City.

    Golden State's only road win over the Thunder since the franchise moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season was a 112-102 triumph on Dec. 8, 2008.

    The unlikely hero of that victory -- the only Warriors starter that night still with the team -- was Andris Biendrins, whose 17-point, 21-rebound game was one of the best performances of his NBA career.

    Golden State won that game despite a 41-point outburst by Durant, just 20 years old at the time.

  • Thunder coach Scott Brooks, whose team would earn the No. 1 seed in the West by winning its final three games, was excited about the Warriors' return to the playoffs.

    Brooks grew up in Manteca but admitted he never saw the Warriors play a postseason game as a youngster.