OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (5-2)
at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (5-3)
Tip-off: Thursday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Golden State -4.5, Total: 207
The Thunder play their second of three road games in four nights as they square off against the Warriors on Thursday.
Oklahoma City has looked solid this season, but is in the midst of a tough three-game road stretch. The Thunder lost their first game of the road trip, a 111-103 defeat at the hands of the Clippers on Wednesday, and now play back-to-back nights for the first time when they head to Golden State. After losing two straight games on the road, the Warriors returned home Tuesday night with a 113-95 blowout win over the Pistons. Golden State, which shot 60% from the floor, took a commanding lead early and was able to sit its stars late with the game well in hand. The Warriors are undefeated this season at home (3-0 SU, 2-0-1 ATS) and this game will mark the first time they have had two consecutive games at home this season. The Thunder are 2-2 SU (1-3 ATS) thus far on the road, shooting just 41.7% FG. Over the previous two seasons, Oklahoma City is 6-1 (SU and ATS) against the Warriors, including 3-1 (SU and ATS) at Golden State in that time. The Over is 5-2 in those seven meetings. The Thunder have done well in this series for quite some time now, going 42-21 SU and 33-30 ATS since 1996. C Kendrick Perkins will miss this game for the Thunder for personal reasons while the Warriors will be without SG Toney Douglas as he is out for two weeks with a tibia injury. The Thunder have been resilient under head coach Scott Brooks, going 107-62 ATS (63%) after an SU loss, but the Warriors thrive in projected shootouts, going 30-17 ATS (64%) when the total is 200 to 209.5 over the past two seasons.
Will the Thunder lose two games in two nights? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2013-14 season. StatFox Forecaster has been spot-on so far this season with a 61% ATS record (23-15) in featured games, while the five experts are a sizzling 9-1 ATS on Best Bets since Tuesday night. StatFox Dave is 4-0 ATS on Best Bets since Monday to improve to 62% ATS (8-5) for the season, while StatFox Gary is 3-0 ATS on Best Bets since Tuesday.
Oklahoma City has been solid on offense this season, bringing the ninth-ranked offense into the game with 102.9 PPG (44.1% FG) and has scored 100+ points in all but one game this season. But the Thunder defense has given up 101.9 PPG (23rd in NBA) on 43.5% FG, and has surrendered 105+ points in each of the past three games. SF Kevin Durant (30.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 5.1 APG) is once again leading the league in scoring and is a full 3.5 points ahead of the next player (Kevin Love). In his 21 career games versus the Warriors, Durant has netted an impressive 30.4 PPG (51% FG) with 8.7 RPG and averaged nearly a triple-double against them last season over four games with 28.5 PPG, 8.8 RPG and 7.8 APG. PG Russell Westbrook (19.0 PPG, 5.0 APG) had his best overall game on Wednesday night against the Clippers, scoring 19 points and adding 10 assists, but continued to shoot a poor percentage from the field (7-for-18), dropping him to 34.8% FG for the season. Westbrook hasn't shot particularly well in his career versus Golden State (42.8% FG, 26.7% threes), but has still tallied 20.6 PPG, 7.2 APG and 2.7 SPG in 18 career games in this series. PF Serge Ibaka (13.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG) was starting to find his stride this season until he was ejected for his role in a minor scuffle in the second quarter against the Clippers after playing just 17 minutes. In four games against Golden State last season, Ibaka averaged 15.0 PPG and grabbed 7.3 RPG, but was most impressive blocking shots with 3.5 BPG.
Golden State's offense has been rolling this season with 103.9 PPG (7th in NBA) on 49.3% FG (2nd in NBA) and a league-leading 10.9 three-pointers per game. In their three home wins this season, the Warriors have averaged a whopping 112.0 PPG on 55% FG and 49% threes. On the defensive side of things, Golden State has also been impressive, allowing only 96.1 PPG on 41.2% FG, and is near the top of the league in both blocks (5.8 BPG, 5th in NBA) and steals (9.1 SPG, T-9th in league). PG Stephen Curry (20.0 PPG, 50% FG, 8.4 APG) has been the lifeblood of the team and is turning into an elite player in the NBA. In 14 career games against the Thunder, Curry has done well, averaging 22.3 PPG (50.4% FG), 6.6 APG and has made 39-of-88 (44.3%) of his threes. SG Klay Thompson (19.6 PPG, 53% FG, 47% threes) has also been having a huge season, scoring in double-digits in each game this season while making three 3-pointers on average per game. He shot only 40.0% from the field in four games against the Thunder last season and averaged a mere 12.0 PPG. PF David Lee (18.0 PPG, 9.4 RPG) continues to be one of the most unheralded stars in the NBA. After leading the league in double-doubles last season, Lee has already posted three this season, and was one rebound shy in his past two contests. Oklahoma City is one of 11 teams that Lee has averaged a double-double against over his career with 17.0 PPG and 10.3 RPG in 18 games. Golden State fans are hoping that F/G Andre Iguodala (14.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 4.3 RPG, 2.1 SPG) will be the player to move the Warriors from good to great, but he struggled in four games against the Thunder last season, scoring only 8.8 PPG on 36.6% FG and 1-of-13 threes.