by Jonah Ballow

10:30 PM ET | Oracle Arena
Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM

UPDATE: Kristaps Porzingis is out tonight due to left knee irritation and Kyle O'Quinn is sidelined with a contused left calf.

1.  On Sunday afternoon, the Knicks suffered a 127-107 defeat to the Lakers despite shooting 54.3 percent from the floor and 48 percent from downtown.  Los Angeles posted 37 points in the second quarter and 60 in the second half to eventually pull away from the visiting team.  Tim Hardaway Jr., Porzingis, and Michael Beasley all scored 17 points, Enes Kanter collected 14 boards, and Jarrett Jack dished out 10 assists in the final meeting between the two teams.

2.  New York has passed the midpoint of the long seven-game road trip.  At 2-2 on the current trek, the Knicks will face the Warriors tonight and then two teams they topped at Madison Square Garden.  On Thursday night, New York will take on the Nuggets and Friday’s matchup is set against the Suns to conclude the trip out West.

3.  Beasley is a true scoring machine this season.  The numbers are eye-opening when examining his advanced stats as Beasley is averaging 23.4 points per 36 minutes.  Since December 21, Beasley ranks No. 2 in the NBA among reserves with an average of 16.1 points per game on 53.8 percent shooting.

4.  The Warriors did not remain quiet this offseason even with four All-Stars on the roster and two titles over the last three years entering 2017-18.  This summer, Golden State acquired Nick Young, Omri Casspi, and drafted Jordan Bell to bolster an already loaded lineup.  Through 47 games, the Warriors are at the expected spot atop the Western Conference with a 37-10 overall record.  While Steph Curry and Kevin Durant have dealt with some injuries over the course of the first half of the season, Golden State hasn’t missed a beat and is full strength heading into the contest against the Knicks.  The Warriors are 8-2 in their last 10 games but fell to the Houston Rockets on Saturday night.

5.  Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson account for 74.2 points per game in Golden State’s No. 1 ranked offense.  Most of the attention is focused on the Warriors prolific offensive output and not necessarily on the stifling defense from the reigning champs.  Golden State owns the fifth-best defensive rating in large part due to the team philosophy and Draymond Green as the anchor.  However, Durant has become a difference maker on the defensive end of the floor this year by averaging 2.05 blocks per outing.  Durant sits in third place in this specific category while Porzingis leads the league at 2.34.