After Thursday’s struggle of surviving without any basketball, there are thankfully thirteen games on the schedule for Friday. None, however, more enticing than the Golden State Warriors (9-7) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (10-3) match-up. The Western Conference teams met two weeks ago in a high-thrilling affair, and one that ended with an Andre Iguodala buzzer-beater to sink the Thunder 116-115.
Since the tough defeat, however, Oklahoma City has yet to suffer another loss and are looking to extend their winning streak to six games. Superstar Kevin Durant is leading the league in scoring with 28.2 points per contest, while Serge Ibaka ranks tenth in the league in rebounds, grabbing down 10.2 per game.
The Thunder reserves have been playing quality basketball as well. They are averaging 32.8 points per game during the stretch of wins, and are shooting 46.2 percent from the field through their first thirteen games, which ranks fourth among bench units in the league. In their victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, which snapped the Spurs’ 11-game winning streak, backup point guard Reggie Jackson tied a career-high, dropping 23 points. Fellow reserve Jeremy Lamb added 12 in the win, and has now scored in double figures in three consecutive outings.
The Warriors are in a bit of a funk, having won just one game in their last four tries. In Wednesday night’s 103-99 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Stephen Curry paced his Golden State squad with 29 points and 6 three-pointers, while Klay Thompson and David Lee each added 20 points.
The team’s propensity to hoist up and drain shots from beyond-the-arc has earned their two most lethal shooters the “Splash Brothers” nickname. Golden State leads the league in three-point percentage at 43.7 percent. Thompson tops the league in three-pointers made with 52, while Curry ranks fourth with 42.
The Thunder will be out for revenge against their familiar foe, and will come away with the victory on Friday night. It does not help the Warriors that this game is in Oklahoma City at Chesapeake Energy Arena, a place where the Thunder have yet to lose this season.
Thunder, 104 – Warriors, 98
National TV: NBATV
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET