Thunder-Warriors Preview


The Golden State Warriors let one slip away their last time out after failing to slow down one of the weaker teams in the Western Conference.

Getting back on track could prove all the more difficult with Kevin Durant and the NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder coming to town.

Golden State looks to avoid a seventh defeat in nine games versus Oklahoma City as the teams meet Tuesday night.

The Warriors (8-13) failed to carry over any momentum from a 3-1 stretch, suffering a disappointing 114-106 overtime loss at Sacramento on Saturday. Golden State was outrebounded 55-36 and managed just four points in OT.

"(The Kings) outworked us in overtime and we are going to have to individually and collectively look in the mirror and own up to a lack of effort," coach Mark Jackson said. "Their starters outscored our starters 104-63. You can sugar-coat it all you want, but that was just bad basketball."

If their recent efforts in this series are any indication, the Warriors could be in for another long night versus the Thunder (19-5).

Oklahoma City has won six of the last eight matchups, most recently prevailing 120-109 in Golden State on Jan. 27 behind a season-high 37 points from Durant. Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, added 28 points and recorded season highs of 11 assists and seven steals.

"They've been together a long time and have grown up a lot together," Golden State's Stephen Curry said of the Thunder following that game. "They know each other well, they know what it takes to finish out games just with that chemistry that they have."

Durant has torched the Warriors over the course of his career, posting 32.1 points per game against them on the road - his highest mark in any opposing arena.

Durant also came up huge Monday, scoring 33 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists during a 111-107 overtime win at Portland. He tied the game on a questionable goaltending call with six seconds remaining in regulation.

"I got it up there quick enough that it hit the glass first. It was a goaltend, so it was a good play for us," said Durant, who is averaging 31.2 points while shooting 50.0 percent from the floor, 11.3 boards and 2.2 blocks in his last six contests.

While Durant is obviously at his best when trying to score the basketball, he may want to think about continuing to get his teammates involved. The Thunder are 16-1 when he dishes out at least three assists.

Westbrook had 28 points and 11 rebounds against Portland, finishing two assists shy of a triple-double.

Oklahoma City has the best road record in the West at 10-4.

Golden State's Dorell Wright, who made 6 of 9 from 3-point range and finished with 23 points versus the Thunder last month, scored a season-high 24 versus the Kings. He's gone 15-of-30 from beyond the arc while averaging 18.8 points in his last four games - significantly higher than his season mark of 11.4

Leading the Warriors with 21.3 points per game, Monta Ellis has made just 14 of 47 shots (29.8 percent) and averaged 16.5 points in his last two meetings with Oklahoma City.