LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors wound up on the short end of a back-and-forth battle Wednesday night, losing 93-91 to the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena. David Lee recorded his fifteenth double-double of the season, pouring in 29 points and 11 boards. Nate Robinson caught fire off the bench, knocking down three from deep and finishing with 21 points in 21 minutes. Stephen Curry struggled to find his shot but facilitated well, dishing eight assists on the night. FULL GAME RECAP
WARRIORS VS. THUNDER
The Warriors and Thunder have already matched up two times this season, and both contests went down to the wire but wound up in Warriors defeats. The most recent matchup was a memorable one, as Monta Ellis electrified the home crowd with a career-high 48 points and David Lee had a triple-double in a game that went down to the final possesion. If the third time is to be the charm for the Warriors, they'll need to find a way to slow down 2012 All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, who have combined for 129 points in this season's first two games with the Warriors. The Western Conference-leading Thunder have lost just one home game all season, but the Warriors have proved that they are more than capable of playing up to their competition.
The Warriors are no strangers to close contests this season, but the team has struggled to win those games. Wednesday's loss dropped Golden State to 1-5 in games decided by three points or less and 2-6 in games that were within three at end of regulation. A close game on Friday wouldn't be all that surprising, as five of the Warriors' last six games against the Thunder have been decided by six points or less.
PRODUCTION FROM THE 'DUB'STITUTES
One of the areas of most improvement on this year's Warriors team is the bench. Golden State reserves are averaging 32.3 points this season, an 8.1-point improvement from the 2010-11 campaign. Nate Robinson's 21-point night on Wednesday was the fourth effort of 20-or-more points by a Warriors reserve this season, one more than the team had all of last year.
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