Game Preview: Thunder head west to take on surging Warriors

The OKC Thunder are on a four-game skid and set to face the Golden State Warriors on Thursday
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With the 2020-21 regular season coming to a close in just over a week, the Thunder are taking a trip out west, starting with a game against the Warriors. 

On yet another losing streak, currently at four games, OKC continues to climb the ladder as it relates to draft lottery odds. Against a Warriors team with Steph Curry leading the way, it'll be a tough matchup for the Thunder. 

With newly-acquired Gabriel Deck showing continued improvement on the Thunder, his progression in the NBA will be something to keep an eye on both Thursday and going forward. Through his first four games in the league, he's averaged 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. 

ODDS:

The Thunder enter the day as 14-point underdogs to the Warriors and the total over/under is 227 points.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

As they have been for the last half-decade or more, the Golden State Warriors are known for being an excellent 3-point shooting team. This season, they’ve converted on the sixth-most 3-pointers per game of an team in the NBA. This comes behind the offensive firepower of Steph Curry, who by himself knocks down 5.3 each game.

Playing like an MVP candidate, the obvious key to Thursday’s game for OKC will be slowing Curry down. He’s shown many times throughout his career that he can win a game single-handedly.

Golden State has a real motivation to come out strong and play well against Oklahoma City as well. Currently sitting as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, the Warriors are slated to make the play-in tournament, but would still like to continue to increase their seeding down the stretch.

The Warriors are in general a poor rebounding team, pulling down the seventh-least of any team in the league this season per game. This will play into the hands of OKC, who is one of the best in the NBA at crashing the boards.

While turnovers have been a huge issue for the Thunder over the past month, they’ve taken better care of the ball recently. They have committed just 12.6 turnovers per contest over their last three games, which is great for a team who’s dead last in the league in that category. As rookie point guard Theo Maledon and his young teammates get acquainted to the pace and style of the NBA, this will only naturally improve. 


READ MORE:

Deck signing paying dividends

Most recent OKC Mock Draft


RECORDS:

Oklahoma City Thunder (21-45) vs. Golden State Warriors (33-33)

WHEN:

Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 9:00 PM CT

LOCATION:

Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

TV/RADIO:

Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBA League Pass, 98.1 FM The Sports Animal

FINAL WORD:

With six games on the schedule remaining, the Thunder will spend the next four in California taking on the Warriors and Kings two times each. Thursday nights matchup with Golden State will kick off the impactful road trip.