The Golden State Warriors appear to have their mojo back just in time for a tough matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Warriors will travel to Chesapeake Arena today for their first game of a back-to-back.
Despite a tough week of three straight losses sans Kevin Durant, the Warriors are back on track following their third win in a row last night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Golden State sits at 55-14 and officially clinched the Pacific Division title earlier this week.
OKC is also on a roll, coming off their fifth straight win against the Kings in Sacramento yesterday. With Durant’s hotly contested move to Golden State not sitting well with much of the Thunder roster, this game promises to be a dog fight even with Durant on the bench.
The biggest key to the game for the Warriors will be containing star point guard Russell Westbrook. The MVP candidate has been burning teams left and right this season, now up to 34 triple-doubles and averaging 31.7 points per game.
In addition to Westbrook, Golden State will have center Steven Adams and former Chicago Bulls forward Doug McDermott to contend with. Both Adams and McDermott regularly post double-digits in scoring and had strong performances in Sacramento.
The Warriors have two offensive powerhouses of their own in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The Splash Brothers were in a bit of a shooting slump following Durant’s injury, but have recently regained their flow in the past couple games.
Thompson torched the Philadelphia 76ers Tuesday with 28 including five made 3’s. He scored 21 of those points in the first quarter alone.
Curry stole the show last night against the Bucks with 28 points on 9-13 shooting including six shots from deep. The highlight of the night was Curry’s insane bucket over Bucks guard Malcom Brogdon from the logo, a loud message to the league’s doubters from the two-time MVP.
The Warriors should have no trouble getting the W if both Curry and Thompson continue on their scoring rampage.
To ensure the win, however, it’s the defense that will need to be spot on. The Warriors will look to Draymond Green to continue his defensive dominance and hold off Adams under the basket where he does the most damage. If this game becomes an offensive shootout, the result is essentially up in the air depending on who is having a better night. Golden State can’t let it come down to that.
At the end of the day, this game will be decided by who wants it more. There is quite a bit of passion and rivalry between these two teams, particularly for the Thunder as they battle to demonstrate their capabilities despite the loss of Durant.
If the Warriors can stay focused like they have in the last three games, they should pick up a fourth win tonight in Oklahoma City.
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