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News » Warriors-Thunder Preview 2008-12-30


Warriors-Thunder Preview 2008-12-30


Warriors-Thunder Preview 2008-12-30
The Golden State Warriors have shown signs of improvement in their last two home games. Success on the road, however, has been harder to come by.

The Warriors look to build on a home victory and snap out of their season-long funk on the road as they open a three-game trip Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Golden State (10-23) has had a disappointing season, partially due to injuries and partially due to its awful 4-16 road record. The Warriors have played 15 of their last 21 games away from home, going 2-13, but one of those wins came against the Thunder (3-29).

Though their road struggles continue, the Warriors have won back-to-back home games to improve to 6-7 at Oracle Arena. They outscored league-best Boston 35-17 in the fourth quarter of a 99-89 win Friday, and after following that game with a road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, shot 50.0 percent from the field in a 117-111 victory over Toronto on Monday night.

"We got away from playing with the energy we did against Boston when we went to L.A.," said guard Stephen Jackson, who had 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists Monday. "I think in order for us to get a good feeling about ourselves and get our identity, we have to start winning on the road. Hopefully we can build on this on the road."

No team has played fewer home games than Golden State, which has played more road games than any other team in the league. After this game, the Warriors visit Minnesota and Utah before returning to play eight of their next nine games at home.

"We've had a lot of games (on the road), but now we're getting to the end, and we'll see what we can do," second-year guard Marco Belinelli said.

Belinelli has provided a spark for Golden State, which has been without Monta Ellis (ankle) all season and has played its last 13 games without leading scorer Corey Maggette (hamstring).

Belinelli, a first-round pick out of Italy in 2007, had 23 points with five 3-pointers in Monday's win, and is averaging 17.2 points over his last 10 games - eight starts.

"I knew I could help this team," said Belinelli, who saw limited minutes early this season before the Warriors' injury woes moved him up in the rotation.

Belinelli was one of seven Golden State players to score in double figures in the club's 112-102 win in Oklahoma City on Dec. 8.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 41 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors. Beginning with that game, the reigning Rookie of the Year averaged 27.5 points over a 10-game stretch before getting held to 18 points and 5-for-17 shooting in a 110-102 loss to Phoenix on Monday night.

The defeat, which dropped Oklahoma City to 2-14 at the Ford Center, was its fourth straight in which it entered the fourth quarter trailing by five points or less.

"We gave ourselves a chance going into the fourth quarter, but we didn't do a good job of taking care of the basketball," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "It's something that we will continue to talk about and work on."

Oklahoma City has lost five in a row and 13 of 14.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 30, 2008

 

 
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