Golden State engaged in some memorable battles with Oklahoma City last season -- Kevin Durant’s first after moving from the Thunder to the Warriors -- and he may not be available in the first meeting of 2017-18. Durant is dealing with an ankle sprain and is questionable for Wednesday, when the Warriors visit the new-look Thunder.
Durant put up 40 points while being jeered by the home crowd in his lone visit back to Oklahoma City last season and won’t risk further injury to play on Wednesday, though did participate in a full practice on Tuesday. “It’s just a regular game for me now,” Durant told ESPN.com of returning to Oklahoma City. “I learned how to tune out the crowd, I learned how to tune out the (BS). I just try to block out all of the nonsense and all the BS and just got out there and play.” The Thunder look a bit different from the team that Durant and the Warriors saw last season, and they are still fighting through some inconsistency while working Paul George and Carmelo Anthony into the lineup alongside reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook. “There’s just not enough consistency in terms of the offensive end and the defensive end,” Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan told reporters after a 114-107 loss at New Orleans on Monday. “There’s just not. We have to do things at a higher level or a consistency. We have to move the ball on offense at a higher consistency level. When we do that, we’re really good.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCSN Bay Area (Golden State), FSN Oklahoma
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (13-4): Golden State needed a big comeback to win in Philadelphia on Saturday and nearly squandered a 28-point lead before prevailing 118-111 at Brooklyn on Sunday, and the team knows it needs to improve its pace. “Not many teams can keep up with us running,” forward Draymond Green told reporters after the Warriors assisted in slowing the pace for the Nets by committing 27 personal fouls. “So, slow the game down, I think you give them more of a shot. Something we always talk about is defending without fouling. We didn’t do a good job of that today.” Stephen Curry committed six of those fouls and was off the court for the final minutes after putting up 39 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (7-9): Oklahoma City appeared to be figuring things out during a three-game winning streak but then dropped two straight on the road to fellow West playoff hopefuls San Antonio and New Orleans. “You can talk as long as you want to, but guys have to take personal pride and understand how important it is to go out and compete and not take it for granted,” Westbrook told reporters after Monday’s setback. “As players you sometimes go out on the floor and sometimes you take it for granted and don’t realize how important it is to embrace the moment. Each individual guy has to do that every night.” Westbrook delivered a triple-double with 22 points, 16 rebounds and 12 assists on Monday but was just 6-of-19 from the floor and went a combined 11-of-41 from the floor in the last two contests.
1. Thunder C Steven Adams is 13-of-17 from the floor in two games since returning from a calf injury.
2. Warriors SF Omri Casspi scored 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting while starting in place of Durant on Sunday.
3. Golden State took the last seven meetings, including the final three games of the Western Conference finals in 2016.
PREDICTION: Warriors 119, Thunder 106