January 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) attempts a shot in the lane in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) in the second quarter at ORACLE Arena. The Warriors defeated the Thunder 104-99. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors Face Thunder, Look to Beat Contender: Game Preview

The Golden State Warriors may have gotten off to a 5-3 start, but have yet to establish themselves as a legitimate contender. Coming into today, they have yet to beat one of the “top-tier” teams in the Western Conference, losing to the Clippers, Spurs, and Grizzlies. Sure, they played all three games on the road, but if they are to become one of the best in the West, they’ll have to start winning some of these games.

They will get another shot tonight, as the Warriors will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (5-2) at Oracle Arena.

Last Time Out

The Thunder played last night, losing to the Clippers 111-103 on the road. Despite building up a nine-point lead at halftime, the Thunder could not maintain the advantage. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 33 points, Russell Westbrook chipped in 19 points, and Serge Ibaka was a perfect 6-of-6 from the field with 13 points.

As for the Warriors, they are coming off a 113-95 rout of the Pistons on Tuesday. Stephen Curry led the way with 25 points, while Jermaine O’Neal chipped in 17 points off the bench. It was that kind of night for the Warriors (5-3), where their backup center played almost half the game thanks to their large lead.

Tale of the Tape

Warriors 

  • Points per game: 103.9 (8th)
  • Field goal percentage: 49.3% (2nd)
  • 3-point percentage: 43.7% (2nd)
  • Points allowed per game: 96.1 (T-4th)
  • Rebounds per game: 43.6% (13th)

Thunder

  • Points per game: 102.8 (11th)
  • Field goal percentage: 43.7% (18th)
  • 3-point percentage: 27.1% (28th)
  • Points allowed per game: 100.3 (T-13th)
  • Rebounds per game: 47.0 (2nd)

Notable Quote

“We’re 0-3 against some of our ‘foes’ at the top of the Western Conference,” Jermaine O’Neal told the San Jose Mercury News. “So it’s important to come out and have a good showing on our home court. It’s time for us … we’ve been there. We have to find a way to win games against teams I’m sure we’re going to see in the playoffs.”

Probable Lineups

Golden State Warriors

  • PG Stephen Curry
  • SG Klay Thompson
  • SF Andre Iguodala
  • PF David Lee
  • C Andrew Bogut

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • PG Russell Westbrook
  • SG Thabo Sefolosha
  • SF Kevin Durant
  • PF Serge Ibaka
  • C Steven Adams
Game InformationTip-off: 7:30 PM (PST)

Location: Oracle Arena (Oakland, CA)

TV: TNT

Tickets: Warriors tickets

Radio: KNBR (Warriors), WWLS 98.1FM (Thunder)

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