OAKLAND – After completing their most physically demanding road trip of the season, the Warriors return home Thursday night to face a New York Knicks that in the midst of a five-game trip while also being shorthanded.
Both Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose will be on the sideline when the teams meet at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors (22-4), who went 4-1 on a five-game, seven-day road trip though three time zones, now begin a stretch during which they will play 12 of their next 16 games at Oracle.
The Knicks (14-11) appeared to be finding themselves, following a 5-7 start by going 9-4 over the next 13 games. But injuries obviously could halt their progress.
Warriors by 16.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant vs. Kristaps Porzingis -- Porzingis is listed at 7-foot-3, making him the tallest player in the league. Yet he’s a swing forward, beyond the scope of “power” or “small” because he has skills for both. The Warriors last season held him to 4-of-19 shooting, with the 6-7 Green being the primary defender. Durant, at 6-11 (he says 6-9), makes a fine tag-team partner for Green.
Warriors: 8-2. Knicks: 6-4.
Warriors: C Zaza Pachulia (R wrist contusion) is listed as doubtful. He has missed the past three games.
Knicks: F Carmelo Anthony (R shoulder soreness) and G Derrick Rose (back soreness) are listed as out.
The Warriors have won the last four, six of the last seven and 21 of 27 overall, including 12 of 14 in Oakland.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) No cruising -- Though the absence of all-stars Anthony and Rose makes the Knicks a much more vulnerable team, the Warriors have seen enough shorthanded teams to know nothing can be assumed. They won’t have much of a scouting report on some of these guys, but they’d be wise to stay on task.
2) Comforts of home -- NBA vets often cite the challenges of the first home game after a tough road trip, so the Warriors are well aware of the phenomenon. They may need to fight complacency. Green typically appoints himself Sheriff for matters of focus and intensity.
3) Curry milestone in sight -- Stephen Curry needs eight 3-pointers to reach 1,700 for his career. He currently ranks 17th on the all-time list, and ninth among active players.