Oklahoma City At Golden State
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Thursday, December 18, 2014
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
Their franchise-record winning streak had to end eventually, and the Golden State Warriors will try to bounce back from a rare loss when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. The Warriors had won 16 in a row before falling at Memphis 105-98 on Tuesday at the end of a stretch of three road games in four days. The Thunder are enjoying their own Kevin Durant- and Russell Westbrook-inspired stretch of good fortune and have won seven straight.
Oklahoma City was one of the victims on Golden State’s streak, but that 91-86 loss on Nov. 23 came without Durant and Westbrook around, and the two have been making up for lost time. Sacramento held a one-point lead in the fourth quarter Tuesday before Westbrook and Durant combined for 14 points in a 19-4 run that put the game away. The Warriors have their own high-scoring duo in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson but could use some help from defensive anchor Andrew Bogut, who has missed the last four games with a knee injury.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE THUNDER (12-13): Westbrook put up 32 points, seven assists and six rebounds at Sacramento and has scored at least 20 points in each of the nine games since his return but was quick to credit the team's defense after the game, echoing his coach. “Defense, it’s all about defense,” Scott Brooks told reporters. “The first unit did a great job setting the tone. Our guys have been consistent with the defensive intensity.” Oklahoma City has allowed an average of 92.4 points in its last 10 games and is 9-1 in that span.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (21-3): Curry and the offense were able to bail out the defense in a 128-122 overtime victory in New Orleans on Sunday but Bogut’s absence against Memphis’ frontline was noticeable, and Golden State still managed to hang around. “Winning 16 games in a row is hard to come by,” forward Draymond Green told the San Francisco Chronicle. “That doesn’t happen every day. It was a great streak, but streaks are made to be broken. We didn’t expect to win the next 60 games in a row.” Marreese Speights, who scored a season-high 28 points in the win at Oklahoma City, had 18 at Memphis.
1. Curry went 1-of-10 from 3-point range Tuesday and is shooting 33.3 percent from beyond the arc in December after connecting at 43.4 percent last month.
2. Durant is averaging 21.5 points on 50.4 percent shooting in eight games since returning from a broken foot.
3. Green has blocked 11 shots in the last three games.
PREDICTION: Warriors 94, Thunder 89
Stats and Records
Golden State Off vs
Oklahoma City Def
107.2 Points For
93.9 Points Against