The Warriors open a three-game road trip Thursday by facing the Brooklyn Nets, who have been one of the worst teams in the NBA.
The Warriors (25-4) have reason to beware, however, as they have been stung by such circumstances. Two of their losses this season came were the result of subpar performances against the struggling Lakers and the woefully shorthanded Grizzlies.
Then, too, there is the Christmas Day game in Cleveland, a rematch of the NBA Finals, which may be lurking in the back of the minds of the Warriors. There also a game at Detroit that tips off about 20 hours after they leave Barclays Center.
The Nets (7-20) have shown the ability to rise to the competition, taking down the Clippers earlier this season in double overtime.
Warriors by 15.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Jeremy Lin. The two are very familiar with each other from Lin’s brief time (29 games) early in his career as a member of the Warriors. Lin has shown a desire to take it to Curry, with occasional success. Being the competitor that he is, don’t be surprised Curry makes a pointed effort to use his MVP bona fides to make a statement.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Nets: G Isaiah Whitehead (L foot soreness) is listed as questionable.
Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the D-League.
Warriors: 9-1. Nets: 2-8.
The Warriors swept two games last season, have won six of the last eight (since the move from New Jersey to Brooklyn) and 12 of the last 17.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) Making it rain -- The Nets play fast but don’t bring much defense, allowing an NBA-high 114.4 points per game. The Warriors on average score an NBA-high 117.4. This is a prime opportunity for the Splash Brothers and everybody else to pad their stats.
2) Big Brook -- Former All-Star Brook Lopez has been victimized by the team’s irrelevance but remains a productive scorer, surpassing 20 points in six of the past seven games. The 7-footer is a load, and the Warriors likely will defend him with a tag-team of Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee.
3) Chasing Dirk -- Curry needs five 3-pointers to move past Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki and into 16th place on the all-time list triples. Nowitzki, who has been sidelined for most of the season, has 1,707, while Curry is at 1,703.