Golden State Warriors (-3, 232 o/u) at Oklahoma City Thunder
Tomorrow in Primetime (8:30 PM Eastern), the Golden State Warriors (52-5, 28-5 Away) will bring their cavalcade of historic greatness to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder (41-17, 25-7 Home) at Chesapeake Energy Arena. (Am I overselling it?)
The Warriors dropped their first game after the All-Star break, getting blown out by Portland (137-105) in an anomalous affair. But it’s been back to the status quo since then with four straight wins, all on the road. The current win-streak hasn’t come against bottom-feeding squads, either; Steph Curry and company have downed the Clippers (fourth in the West), Hawks (seventh in the East), Heat (fourth in the East), and Magic (11th in the East) – who are a combined 22 games over .500.
They are coming off a 130-114 win over Orlando on Thursday, led by 51 points (including ten triples) from Curry. The Warriors trailed by four at the half, but the reigning MVP put the team on his shoulders in the third quarter, scoring nearly half of his 51 points (24).
The Thunder gave the Warriors a battle last time they met, back in early February in the Bay Area; down by 20 points part way through the game, OKC was able to fight back and tie the game. In the end, Golden State won, 116-108, but OKC showed the have the offensive firepower to trade punches with the highest-scoring team in the league.
Getting stops is another matter entirely. Oklahoma City has given up at least 114 points in the last four head-to-head matchups with Golden State. That’s not a recipe that will brew many wins, even for a team that averages 109.8 points per game.
OKC has also dropped three of its last four, overall, losing to the Cavaliers, Pacers, and Pelicans. Their defensive holes were readily apparent in the setback to New Orleans as they fell 123-119 despite getting 76 points, combined, from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Golden State and San Antonio have set a new bar for home teams this year, both going undefeated to date. But OKC has been solid on their own court, as well, going 25-7. And Oklahoma is the one place where the Warriors have struggled in the Steph Curry era (1-11 SU in the last 12 at OKC). That’s a trend I can get behind. Take the home team and the points.
Pick: OKC +3.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)