Thunder-Warriors Preview

The Golden State Warriors have trailed for all of 23 seconds in

three home games this season. Those wins have come by an average of

20.0 points on 54.7-percent shooting.

Putting up similar numbers Thursday night will be a difficult

task against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Western Conference’s

best road team in 2012-13.

The Warriors (5-3) are coming off their best shooting night of

the season in a 113-95 win over Detroit on Tuesday that snapped a

two-game skid.

Golden State shot 60.0 percent and hit 8 of 16 from beyond the

arc. It was the team’s best shooting performance in the regular

season since March 25, 2011, when they hit 61.4 percent in a

138-100 win over Toronto.

“We just made plays,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “When

we’re unselfish and don’t try to make home run plays, good things

happen.”

Stephen Curry led the way with 25 points on 7-for-10 shooting

before resting for the entire fourth quarter.

“The way the ball moved tonight, it was one of our better games

where everybody was touching it,” Curry said. “I think on our first

five shots everybody had an assist. We were moving the ball,

finding the easy shot and not forcing anything.”

The solid display from the field combined with a 43-34

rebounding advantage to overshadow 23 turnovers. The Warriors have

turned it over at least 20 times in five of eight games, and their

20.3 per game is the worst average in the league.

A similar shooting night might be necessary against the Thunder,

who have won seven of eight against the Warriors. They took three

of four meetings last season and outscored Golden State by an

average of 20.0 points in the last two, shooting 50.6 percent.

The Thunder (5-2) lost 111-103 on Wednesday at the Los Angeles

Clippers, despite getting 33 points and 10 assists from Kevin

Durant.

The game involved an altercation that resulted Serge Ibaka and

the Clippers’ Matt Barnes being ejected in the second quarter.

“They just beat us,” Durant said. “We’ve got to finish the game

out. No excuses, no matter who’s out there. Of course we’d rather

have Serge out there, but it didn’t happen like that. We still had

a chance to win the game.”

It was the Thunder’s first loss this season with Russell

Westbrook on the floor and snapped a four-game winning streak.

They’re playing back-to-back games for the first time this

season.

Though they’re 4-1 since Westbrook returned, he still hasn’t

found his shot. He’s gone 16 of 53 (30.2 percent) in his last three

games and is shooting 34.8 percent overall.

The Thunder were outrebounded 50-35, including 18-8 on the

offensive glass. It was the first time this season they haven’t

reached double digits in offensive boards, while their 27 defensive

rebounds were also a season low.

Westbrook averaged 20.0 points in four games against the

Warriors last season, shooting 40.5 percent while hitting just 3 of

15 attempts from 3-point range.

Durant shot 56.7 percent and hit 9 of 14 from beyond the arc in

those games.

The teams last met April 11 in the Thunder’s 116-97 win at

Golden State.