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Preview: Warriors head to Oklahoma City to face Thunder

Golden State returns to the arena where they’ve caused so much pain for OKC fans.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are on the road again after a much-needed weekend break. They have the 4th best road record in the league at 15-9, a win percentage of .625. They are headed to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder, a bad team with a 17-35 record (yes 17 wins total) who are looking to develop some of their young pieces while aiming for new draft picks.

Golden State has won five in a row against the Thunder, most recently a 102-83 victory the day before Halloween 2021.

Since then the Warriors have shuffled different lineups around the return of Klay Thompson and the absence of Draymond Green with success, racing towards the All-Star break with the second best record in the NBA. One of the upsides of having their stars out of the lineup has been the opportunities given to their rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.

In the Warriors’ last two games, Kuminga scored 19 points against the San Antonio Spurs and 18 points against the Sacramento Kings, with some scary dunks sprinkled in.

Moody is asserting himself in the starting lineup recently as coach Steve Kerr tries different rotations without his healthy starters. He scored 20 points against San Antonio and has garnered praise for his work ethic and wisdom beyond his years.

The Thunder are grooming young talent of their own, hoping to recapture some of the magic that they had when they developed Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Steven Adams, and Serge Ibaka. Those guys have all went on to do big things for other franchises without the Thunder capturing a title, so OKC needs to capitalize on what they have now while keeping an eye out for the future.

Their 23-year old point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a true talent, leading them in scoring at 22.7 PPG. Unfortunately he’s out for this game with an ankle injury. 22-year old wing Luguentz Dort has already carved a reputation for himself as a stingy defender, but this season is showing he’s a real threat offensively as well. Last week he scored 14 straight overtime points to secure a win over the dangerous Dallas Mavericks.

And 6th overall 2021 draft pick Josh Giddey is averaging 12 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 6.1 assists while becoming the youngest player since LeBron James to reach 500 points, 200 rebounds, and 200 assists.

Both teams will try to show off their youth movements Monday night; the difference is the Warriors still have their core stars leading the way.

Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder

February 7th, 2022 | 5:00 PT

Watch: NBC Sports Bay Area | Listen: 95.7 The Game

Poll

Who ya got, GSW or OKC?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Warriors are going to finish this game by the end of the third quarter in a blowout
    (326 votes)
  • 4%
    IT’S A TRAP! OKC WILL STEAL IT!
    (17 votes)
343 votes total Vote Now