There was a little bit of a strange sight on the OracleArena floor some three hours before game-time. Warriors center Andrew Bogut wasshooting around without his walking boot.Bogut, acquired from Milwaukee on March 13 in a trade thatinvolved Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh, has missed all but 12 games this seasonafter fracturing his left ankle. He sustained the injury on Jan. 25, and hasnt playedsince. He had the boot removed while the Warriors were on their most recentroad trip, and hes been working out at the teams downtown Oakland practicefacility in recent days.Bogut said he still cant put much weight on the ankle andis mostly just doing standstill shooting.Bogut is not expected to return this season. But the factthe boot is off is a sign that his rehab is progressing.
Roughly 20 hours after winning in Philadelphia, the Warriors on Sunday take their act to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where they’ll be without Kevin Durant as they try to sweep a back-to-back set for the first time this season.
Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 2pm, with tipoff scheduled for 3:05pm.
It’s the third back-to-back set of the season for the Warriors (12-4), who have split the first two. This one follows a stirring comeback victory over the 76ers on Saturday and it comes against a Nets team sure to test their endurance.
That test is automatically tougher with Durant, who scored scored 27 points against Philly but will be sidelined Sunday with an ankle sprain.
Brooklyn (6-9) is playing without two guards who figured prominently in their plans, as both Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell are out with injuries.
Warriors by 11
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Spencer Dinwiddie. Curry broke out his mini-slump in the third quarter Saturday in Philly, scoring 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-4 from deep. He’ll see plenty of Dinwiddie, whose wingspan approaches 6-9. Starting in place of the injured D’Angelo Russell, Dinwiddie has become a solid catalyst for Brooklyn’s fast-paced offense. His 5.57-1 assist-to-turnover ratio leads all NBA point guards. If he plays exceptionally well, the Nets may have a legitimate chance.
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L ankle sprain) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Nets: G Jeremy Lin (ruptured patellar tendon) and G D’Angelo Russell (L knee surgery) are listed as out.
Kane Fitzgerald (crew chief), Ben Taylor and Scott Wall.
Warriors: 8-2, Nets: 3-7.
The Warriors swept two games against Brooklyn in each of the last two seasons and have won 14 of the last 19 overall.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
THE GAS TANK: After expending a lot of energy in wiping out a 24-point second-half deficit against the 76ers, the Warriors now confront the NBA’s most hyperactive team. Brooklyn leads the league in pace for the second consecutive season under coach Kenny Atkinson. The Nets are rested and they want to run. With the Warriors shorthanded and coming off a game on the previous night, Brooklyn will push at every opportunity.
TRUST THE D: The Nets rank second in field-goal attempts but 25th in field-goal percentage and 26th in 3-point percentage. They rely on volume to stay in games, and sometimes it’s enough. The Warriors, with the exception of the first half on Saturday, have tightened their defense and now rank fifth in defensive rating. They may have to go deep into the bench, but they’re defense should hold up.
THE GLASS WAR: On sheer rebounding numbers the Warriors and Nets are about equal, thanks largely to Brooklyn ranking second behind Phoenix in both field-goal attempts and missed shots. Where the Warriors separate is in rebounding percentage, where they rank sixth and Brooklyn is 25th. If the Warriors can stay even on the glass against a team that also is comfortable playing “small,” it likely will be enough to put them over the top.
Joel Embiid is an all-time great when it comes to his use of social media.
His ability to troll his opponents and victims is unmatched.
And as Kevin Durant revealed after a huge comeback win over the 76ers on Saturday night, the Warriors didn't want to be the subject of Embiid's Twitter wrath.
"We wanted to win this game really, really bad. After being down by so much, we didn't want to lose to these guys, especially Joel. He woulda gone straight to Twitter and started talking s***," Durant told reporters after the game.
Embiid hasn't posted anything on Twitter or Instagram since Saturday's game ended, but a quick look at his Twitter Likes shows that the 76ers' center liked the video of Durant's comments.
With their 124-116 comeback win on Saturday, the Warriors swept the two-game season series from Embiid and the 76ers.