OKC at GSW Preview – Moving Forward to Golden State Matchup
SAN FRANCISCO – Even eight hours before the Thunder’s 111-103 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, forward Kevin Durant described the best part of NBA road trips, especially back-to-backs.
The seventh-year perennial All-NBA selection explained that with a win on the road, the Thunder immediately gets a chance to get back on the floor and challenge itself again, and if the team loses, they can’t linger on it because they get an opportunity the next night to get a win against a fresh opponent. The Thunder turned its attention to its Thursday night game against the Golden State Warriors as soon as the final buzzer sounded on Wednesday night, the mark of a mature team that understands the pacing of a long 82-game NBA season.
“We’ll move forward,” Durant said. “The best part about it is that we have a game tomorrow. So we have to let this one go and get ready for the next one.”
The 5-2 Thunder’s opponents in Golden State, who stands at 5-3, are shooting a blistering 49.3 percent from the field, including 43.7 percent from the three point line thus far, so on defense Head Coach Scott Brooks’ team must be vigilant about closing out on shooters and preventing clean looks at the rim. On the offensive end, the Thunder wants to replicate the rhythm it created in the first half on Wednesday night in Los Angeles, when it racked up 62 points and dished out 19 assists.
On both ends of the floor, if the Thunder can impose its brand of basketball, playing with precision, toughness and unselfishness, it will do when it always hopes to on the road against a tough opponent – give itself a chance to win in the closing minutes.
“We just have to play harder and play with a little bit more force on the offensive end, get the thing flowing a little bit and just go out there and have fun,” Durant explained.
“Defensively we have to be a little bit more locked in and on offense we have to play with a little bit more flow,” Durant said. “We’ll get better.”
In the Notes:
- The Thunder went 3-1 against the Warriors in 2012-13, and overall is 13-5 against Golden State.
- The Thunder is 3-0 this season when scoring more fast break points than its opponent and 2-0 when converting 30-or-more free throws in a game.
- The Thunder is 3-0 this season when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both score 20-or-more points in the same game.
9:30 p.m. CT. TV – TNT, Radio – 98.1 FM The Sports Animal, Thunder Radio Network