NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 29th (All times Eastern)
Golden State Warriors (9-7) at Oklahoma City Thunder (10-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oklahoma City Thunder have won five straight and will try to continue the momentum Friday night when they welcome the Golden State Warriors to Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder are undefeated on a current homestand and haven't lost since back- to-back road defeats at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers and these same Warriors two weeks ago.
Oklahoma City picked up its best win of the season on Wednesday when it handled the reigning Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs, 94-88.
The Thunder trailed by three at the half, but tightened things up and outscored the Spurs, 25-15 in the third quarter. The 88 points were the fewest for San Antonio in nine games and the Spurs shot less than 40 percent from the field.
"We wanted to come out at halftime and play a little better," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We didn't shoot the ball well in the first half but I liked our defensive effort and that's something we can continue to build on because it's all about our effort on the defensive end to create opportunities for the offense. Then in the third quarter we were making shots."
Kevin Durant was spectacular against the Spurs with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Reggie Jackson notched 23 points off the bench, while Serge Ibaka registered a double-double with 17 points and 11 boards. Jeremy Lamb had 12 for the second unit.
It was an uncharacteristically bad night for Russell Westbrook on Wednesday. The All-Star guard had just six points on a dreadful 2-for-16 shooting.
The Warriors have struggled a bit of late. They've dropped four of their last five and are 1-1 on a current four-game road trip. Golden State started the sojourn with a one-point victory in New Orleans, but the Warriors fell, 103-99 to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
Despite trailing most of the game, the Warriors closed the gap to four points in the final 30 seconds before eventually falling.
"You could tell in the fourth quarter that we picked it up tremendously," said guard Stephen Curry. "In a back-to-back for us to play that hard in the last quarter in a back-to-back it's frustrating. We need to figure out how to come out stronger, better, and more consistent in the first half."
Curry was one of three Warriors to score 20-plus points on Wednesday. He finished with 29, while David Lee and Klay Thompson both had double-doubles. For Thompson, it was his first and for Lee, it was his 92nd consecutive game with double-digit scoring numbers.
Andrew Bogut, who returned from a suspension, only had eight points, but pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Warriors will head to Sacramento to play the Kings on Sunday, then go home for one game before hitting the road for three straight.
The Warriors beat the Thunder by a point on Nov. 14, but the Thunder have taken 11 of the previous 15 meetings. Golden State has lost eight straight as the visitor in this series.
11/29 10:35:15 ET