Warriors

Top 12 Warriors games to watch during the 2017-18 season

durant-kawhi-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Top 12 Warriors games to watch during the 2017-18 season

The NBA schedule has been released and the Warriors have to be delighted.

There are no road trips of more than six games.

And there are 14 back-to-back sets, a reduction from 17 such games last season.

As defending champions, the Warriors will have a number of marquee games sure to attract widespread attention. Here are a dozen such games:

Oct. 17: Rockets at Warriors -- One year after eclipsing the Warriors’ record for most 3-pointers made in a season, Houston adds future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul to play alongside MVP runner-up James Harden. Does that explain why Stephen Curry is “curious” about a matchup between the NBA’s highest-scoring teams?

Oct. 27: Wizards at Warriors -- In taking the Celtics to seven in the conference semifinals -- in their first season under coach Scott Brooks -- Washington is an established top-four team in the East. In addition, few NBA duels are more enjoyable than Stephen Curry vs. John Wall.

Nov. 2: Warriors at Spurs -- This is for those who remember what happened on opening night last season as well as the tone set early in Game 1 of the Conference Finals -- before the loss of Kawhi Leonard changed the course of that game and altered the arc of the series.

Nov. 8: Timberwolves at Warriors -- Pump the brakes, everyone. Even with Jimmy Butler Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson coming over, Minnesota is not ready to seriously contend. Given the young incumbent talent, however, they are prepared to start a very real rise in the West.

Nov. 11: 76ers at Warriors -- Cross your fingers and hope the future of Philly -- Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons -- is healthy for this trip into Oracle Arena. This promises more fun than competition.

Nov. 16: Warriors at Celtics -- Boston posted the best record in the Eastern Conference and over the past two seasons has managed a split of four regular-season games against the Warriors. Adding All-Star forward Gordon Hayward puts the Celtics in position to seriously challenge the Cavs for conference supremacy.

Nov. 22: Warriors at Thunder -- One year after losing Durant, Oklahoma City replaces him with Paul George. He’s no KD, but if PG can productively coexist with MVP Russell Westbrook -- and if big man Steven Adams can rebound from last season -- this can become a very interesting season series.

Dec. 22: Lakers at Warriors -- Lonzo Ball comes to Oakland.

Dec. 25: Cavaliers at Warriors -- Though much can change regarding the future of Kyrie Irving’s place on the Cleveland roster, this still is a rematch of the teams that met in the last three NBA Finals. It’s LeBron and his bunch vs. Steph and KD and their crew, the best and most enduring matchup in the NBA. It’s must-see TV.

Jan. 12: Warriors at Bucks -- The rising young Bucks, who snapped the Warriors’ 24-game win streak in 2015, tend to play the Warriors tough at home. The Warriors are minus-10 over their last two games in Milwaukee. Another reason to look forward to this: Kevin Durant vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo on the same floor.

Jan. 13: Warriors at Raptors -- Though the Raptors can challenge any team, this game poses a particular threat insofar as it’s the second night of a back-to-back set -- followed two nights later by a prime-time game at Cleveland.

Jan. 15: Warriors at Cavaliers -- Fourth game in three nights, and the middle of a five-game road trip that easily is the toughest stretch of the season.

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

zaza-durant-usatsi.jpg
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.