Thunder (1-game losing streak)
105.4 Offensive Efficiency (3rd)
99.2 Defensive Efficiency (14th)
96.1 Pace (4th)
Warriors (1-game losing streak)
104.0 Offensive Efficiency (6th)
104.0 Defensive Efficiency (25th)
95.1 Pace (10th)
The Thunder are coming off a very tough loss two nights ago to the Houston Rockets. Oklahoma City had a chance to win the game three times in the final 30 seconds but Kevin Durant came up empty three times. The last time the Thunder played Golden State that game came down to the wire and via one of the same plays Oklahoma City ran late to try and beat Houston, Oklahoma City got a big basket from Durant to sink the Warriors. Golden State had won three straight before dropping their last game at home against Portland. In that game, Monta Ellis did not play during the fourth quarter due to an illness. The Thunder are 2-0 already against the Warriors this season.
Thunder keys to the game
1. Kevin Durant
Durant has torched the Warriors more than any other team in his career, especially at home. He has a career scoring average of 31.4 against the Warriors and that number rises to 34.3 when he’s at home against Golden State. Durant will surely want to rebound with a big game tonight following his three misses in the Thunder’s last game. He is a matchup nightmare for the Warriors, even more so than usual, and pretty much gets whatever he wants against them. He scored 37 the first time they met this season and then 33 the last time. I think it’s safe to say we can expect another big night from Durant tonight.
2. What will Monta Ellis do?
Like I mentioned before, Ellis did not play in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s last game and Nate Robinson got all of his minutes, fumbling away the game down the stretch too. Ellis was anything but sick the last time he played against Oklahoma City scoring a career-high 48 points in the loss. Ellis got off to a great start partly thanks to his matchup of Daequan Cook who has been starting in place of the injured Thabo Sefolosha. We probably won’t see another 48 from Ellis tonight but Oklahoma City should shoot to keep him in the low 20’s at least.
3. David Lee
Also in the loss the last time these teams met another big night was recorded by a Warriors player. David Lee had his second-career triple double and dissected the Thunder defense all night. Lee was in rhythm that night and the Thunder should try and focus on getting him out of that rhythm early in this one. Nick Collison usually gets a lot of minutes against the Warriors but Serge Ibaka still starts and a couple of message-blocks early should deter another big night from Lee.
Prediction: Oklahoma City wins 115-111.