With Durant sidelined for the rest of the season with an injury, the Thunder will look to continue staying hot as the playoffs approach.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know to watch, the odds and a prediction for the outcome:
Warriors vs. Thunder Preview
Note: All betting odds and numbers courtesy of OddsShark.com.
Date: Monday, March 20, 2017
Start Time: 8 p.m. EST
TV Channel: TNT
Line: Warriors (-1)
Moneyline: Warriors (-110); Thunder (+110)
A season-ending injury suffered by Durant gives this game a much different feel to it than it did the first time the two teams met in Oklahoma City.
Durant and the Warriors were booed mercifully by the Thunder fans, who held signs calling him a “cupcake” the first go-around in early February.
The first time the two teams met, Golden State and Durant got the upper-hand and held on until the end to secure a 130-114 road victory.
This time, the game has a bit more meaning, as well.
The Warriors are still in the process of learning to play without Durant, but have started to find their groove again. They enter the matchup winners of their last three straight games — all home games. Before that, Golden State had dropped three in a row.
The Thunder are trying to improve their playoff seed in the Western Conference. They are currently battling with the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 5 spot in the West, just one-half game back.
Oklahoma City has won each of its last five games and need to win the game to keep momentum moving forward heading into April. Look for Russell Westbrook, who’s still averaging a triple-double (31.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 10.3 APG) this season, to attack the rim early and often without the presence of Durant on the floor.
But in Durant’s absence, Stephen Curry has continued to heat up. Over his last nine games, he is averaging 26 points, 6.1 assists and 5.2 rebounds. If Curry and the Warriors’ shooters can get going early as they have been in the last three games, look out for another offensive explosion. But if the shots aren’t falling, count on Westbrook playing with a chip on his shoulder and taking full advantage on the fast break.
Prediction: Warriors 113, Warriors 106