Game Preview: Warriors at Thunder - 11/9/19

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ROLL ONTO THE THUNDER
For the second time in two weeks, the Dubs make their way to Oklahoma City where they will once again face the Thunder on Saturday. These two squads last met in a Sunday matinee on October 27 when the Thunder came out with 70 points in the first half en route to a 120-92 win thanks to a hot night from beyond the arc: Oklahoma City eclipsed their season average of 36 percent from beyond the arc with 15 made treys on 47 percent from deep. Since then, the Dubs have lost All-Stars Stephen Curry (broken hand) and Draymond Green (torn ligament) to injuries, so the Warriors enter this game with different rotation from what was featured in the first meeting between the two teams.

LAST TIME OUT
D’Angelo Russell scored a career-high 52 points, including 21 in the final 10 minutes of the game, but a lack of defensive rebounding proved costly as the Dubs fell to the Timberwolves, 125-119, in overtime on Friday night in Minnesota. Full Recap


MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW OKC
2-7 3-5
14th in West 10th in West
PTS: 111.8 (15th) PTS: 105.0 (24th)
REB: 45.3 (18th) REB: 45.9 (12th)
AST: 25.4 (7th) AST: 19.6 (29th)

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Poole, Glen Robinson III, Eric Paschall and Willie Cauley-Stein
OKC: Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Terrance Ferguson, Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Jacob Evans (left abductor strain) and Draymond Green (sprained left index finger) are questionable. Eric Paschall (hip contusion), Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), Kevon Looney (neuropathy), Alen Smailagić (right ankle sprain) and Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab) are out. Team Notes
OKC: Andre Roberson (left knee) is out. Team Notes

RETURN OF SOME VETS
Early season injuries have forced the Dubs into much more of a youth movement than the team anticipated over the first two weeks of the season. But some of the squad’s veterans are starting to return to action. Alec Burks, who missed the entire preseason and first two games of the regular season due to injury, has averaged 23 points off the bench over the last two games, and D’Angelo Russell’s Friday night outburst was certainly a welcome sight for a team that will be without multiple All-Stars for at least three more months. While it’s unrealistic to expect 50-plus points from Russell every game, his presence should at the very least lessen the burden on the younger Dubs.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW OKC
PTS: Russell (24.5) PTS: Gilgeous-Alexander (22.0)
REB: Robinson (6.6) REB: Adams (10.5)
AST: Russell (6.2) AST: Paul (4.8)

OKLAHOMA CITY SCOUTING REPORT
The Thunder come into this game with a 3-5 record, with all three of their wins having come on their home court thus far. NBA sophomore Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and 12-year veteran Danilo Gallinari, who were traded to the team as part of the deal that sent Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, has started all eight of Oklahoma City’s games together and lead the Thunder in scoring with 22.0 and 18.9 points per game. Also a former Clipper and in the starting five is veteran point guard Chris Paul, who continues to contribute on both sides of the court with 16.0 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.6 steals per game thus far. Dennis Schröder, who posted a season-high 22 points against the Warriors last month, is Oklahoma City’s main weapon off of the bench and leads their reserves in points (13.3), rebounds (5.0), and assists (4.5) in almost 29 minutes played per game. What has made the Thunder formidable this year is their defense: they have controlled the paint by grabbing 37.1 defensive rebounds per game (ranked fifth in the NBA) and kept opponents to 11.9 second chance points (ranked eighth), while also limiting opposing teams to 10.4 fastbreak points (ranked fifth). To compete against this, the Dubs will need to either out-rebound the lengthy Thunder or shoot at a high percentage to avoid competing for rebounds all together.

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