Warriors-Bobcats Preview


The Golden State Warriors have yet to win on the road, but that may be about to change despite the absence of Stephen Curry.

The Warriors open a four-game road trip Saturday night when they visit a Charlotte Bobcats club seeking to avoid a seventh straight loss.

Golden State lost all three games on its first road trip of the season Jan. 2-6, falling to Phoenix, San Antonio and the Los Angeles Lakers - all more imposing opponents than the Bobcats (2-10).

The Warriors (3-7) also begin their current trek undermanned, with Curry (ankle) and Kwame Brown (chest) both sidelined for this contest and Dorell Wright (knee) day to day.

While all three players sat out Thursday's 117-109 home defeat to Orlando, Golden State managed to keep the game close until late. Monta Ellis finished with 30 points while David Lee added 26 and 12 rebounds.

Although the Warriors came up short, they embark on this road trip with some confidence. Prior to the loss to the Magic, they defeated Miami in overtime Tuesday and lost by one point to Utah three nights earlier.

Also, none of the opponents Golden State will face on its swing east - Detroit, Cleveland and New Jersey are the others - owns a winning record.

"We need to take care of business," Lee said. "This is a road trip where we need ... to get at least three or four wins to come back here at .500. I don't see it any other way at this point. We're playing good basketball."

Despite Curry's absence, Golden State may not have much problem putting up points against a team with the league's bottom-ranked defense. Charlotte (2-10), which is giving up 102.3 points per game, fell 98-81 to Detroit on Friday.

The loss was the Bobcats' sixth straight, prompting owner Michael Jordan to meet with the players in a closed-door session for about five minutes after the game.

"He just came in the locker room and said we have to play better than that,'' said forward Boris Diaw, who has been held to a combined three points in his last two games. "(He said) that Detroit is not a team that's better than us, and (Friday) they did play better than us. We have to find a way to win.''

The Bobcats lost six in a row twice last season, but haven't dropped seven straight since Nov. 7-20, 2009.

Charlotte has been dominated on the boards in the last three games, losing the rebounding battle by an average of 16.7. Detroit scored 52 points in the paint and had 13 offensive rebounds Friday.

Things aren't going much better on the offensive end, where the Bobcats have averaged 79.2 points and shot 38.7 percent in their last five games. Leading scorer D.J. Augustin (14.7 ppg) has failed to reach double figures in either of the last two games after scoring in single digits just once in the season's first 10 contests.

The Bobcats have won four of five against the Warriors.

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