Warriors

NBA Gameday: Warriors host Magic looking to extend conference lead

NBA Gameday: Warriors host Magic looking to extend conference lead

OAKLAND -- Seeking further proof that they climbing out of their slump, the Warriors will try to win their second straight game when they face Orlando Thursday night Oracle Arena.

With a victory over the Magic, or a Clippers loss at Denver, the Warriors would clinch their third consecutive Pacific Division championship.

The Warriors (53-14) are coming off a too-close-for-comfort 106-104 win over the 76ers on Tuesday that snapped their first three-game losing streak under coach Steve Kerr. They overcame a 16-point deficit in the final 14 minutes.

Orlando (24-44) has struggled all season under coach Frank Vogel, in his first year with the teams. The Magic is 9-26 over the last 35 games and has not won consecutive games since December.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 14

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Zaza Pachulia vs. Nikola Vucevic: Pachulia was so frustrated with his last game that he kicked a chair when leaving the floor. He needs a bounce back game. The Warriors would like for it to come against Vucevic, a talented offensive player who returned to the lineup last week in two games is averaging 21.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. His 29 double-doubles rank seventh among centers. The 7-footer has added the 3-point shot to his repertoire, making 3-of-3 Monday at Sacramento.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Magic: G Jodie Meeks (R thumb surgery recovery) is listed as questionable.

LAST 10

Warriors: 5-5. Magic: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last seven meetings, including the first this season, a 118-98 victory on Jan. 22 at Amway Center.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

STEPHEN CURRY: Curry’s fourth-quarter output in the win over the 76ers was his most impressive 12 minutes, in terms of shooting, in quite some time. He scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-5 beyond the arc. Of his previous 84 shots from deep, only 20 went in. Has the game’s best long-distance shooter returned to form? Or was this a one-quarter aberration?

GET TO 110: Though the Warriors still lead the NBA in scoring (116.1 per game), they have declined of late, averaging 99.5 points over their last six games. The Magic, however, rank last in the league (99.9) and have exceeded 110 points only twice in the last 11 games, losing both times.

THE LOCAL KID: Magic forward Aaron Gordon, a San Jose native, is among the most exciting players in the league. He can be erratic, but his spectacular athleticism often leads to fantastic highlights. He’ll want to put on a show for the 60 or so family and friends at Oracle. The Warriors will need to crowd him and cut off access to the rim.

Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one

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USATSI

Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one

Kevin Durant doesn't take it easy on anyone. Not even the children of teammate Zaza Pachulia.

After practice on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pachulia's two sons, Davit and Saba, were playing one-on-one at the facility the Warriors were using. Kevin Durant filmed one sequence and posted it to his Instagram Story.

One of Pachulia's sons grabbed the ball and drives around the other without dribbling. As he makes the shot, Durant offers his commentary and took a shot at the Warriors starting center.

"That's a travel. Such a travel. Same thing your pops do," Durant said, taking a shot at Pachulia.

Durant also had another message for Pachulia written on the video.

"Yo, @zazapachulia at some you have to teach the boys how to play off the bounce," Durant wrote.

Gameday: Warriors limited Embiid, Simmons once; Can they do it again?

Gameday: Warriors limited Embiid, Simmons once; Can they do it again?

After losing the biggest test of the season thus far, the Warriors will try to get back to winning Saturday, when they face the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 3:30, with tipoff scheduled for 4:35.

The Warriors (11-4), who are coming off their first loss in eight games, a 92-88 defeat at Boston on Thursday, laid a 135-114 beating on the 76ers one week ago in Oakland. They shot a season-high 58.5 percent from the field, including 51.9 percent beyond the arc.

The Sixers (8-6) started the season by losing four of their first five games but have recovered nicely, winning seven of their last nine. They rebounded from the loss to the Warriors by sweeping the Clippers and Lakers in Los Angeles earlier this week.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Draymond Green and Co. vs. Joel Embiid: The Warriors used a tag-team effort to lock down the Philadelphia big man last week, holding Embiid to 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds while forcing seven turnovers. It was a lesson in team defense, and they’ll try to repeat that performance. No fewer than five Warriors -- Zaza Pachulia, Kevin Durant, JaVale McGee, David West and Green -- will get chances to defend Embiid, who responded to a poor game in Oakland by combining for 87 points and 31 rebounds in torching the Clippers and the Lakers in LA.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

76ers: G Jerryd Bayless (L wrist bruise) is listed as questionable. G/F Justin Anderson (L shin splints), G Markelle Fultz (right shoulder scapular muscle imbalance) and G Nik Stauskas (R ankle sprain) are listed as out.

GAME OFFICIALS:
Tony Brothers (crew chief), Bennie Adams and Lauren Holtkamp.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have won the last nine meetings overall, the last four in Philadelphia. Their last loss in Philadelphia was on March 2, 2013.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
WHAT ABOUT STEPH? Stephen Curry has fallen into a bit of a shooting rut, and it’s not necessarily related to the thigh bruise sustained last Saturday against 76ers. He is 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the field, including 9-of-33 (27.3) from deep, over his last four games; he was 34-of-58 (58.6) and 18-of-32 (56.3) in the four games before that. He’ll get opportunities against the Philly defense. Can he snap out of it?

I-N-T-E-N-S-I-T-Y SPELLS INTENSITY: The Warriors are have a tough time shaking the habit of strolling through too many parts of games. After a first half in which they committed 13 turnovers and allowed Philly to shoot 52 percent, the Warriors last week used a third-quarter barrage to put the game away. After being freshly burned in Boston, expect them to bring some early fire, trying to bury the Sixers early and totally.

BEN SIMMONS PT. II: In sending a variety of defenders at the 6-foot-10 point guard, the Warriors kept Simmons off balance and turned him into a volume shooter. He took 17 shots, his second-highest total of the season, and made six. There is no reason to expect a substantial change, and this time the Warriors will add Andre Iguodala into the defensive mix.