Programming note: Watch Warriors Playoff Central today at 4:30pm on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Warriors have spent the better part of two days saying these circumstances are not new, that being down 2-1 in a playoff series is something they have faced and overcome.
That’s the mentality of the defending champions as they prepare for Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against Oklahoma City at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The prevailing question is whether the Thunder are the best team the Warriors have encountered under such conditions, and there is reason to believe the answer is yes. Cleveland had injury problems and Memphis had a glaring roster weakness.
OKC, however, suddenly is the hottest in the playoffs, winning five of its last six – three in a row to oust San Antonio and two of three against the Warriors.
Warriors by 2.5
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Andre Iguodala et al vs. Kevin Durant: There isn’t much an opponent can do if Durant’s shooting eye is on target, and that seems to be the case now. Iguodala is a terrific defender, but even he is going to need reinforcements. The Warriors want to keep Durant out of transition. They’re in trouble if they fail.
Draymond Green vs. Serge Ibaka: That’s one matchup sure to occur when the Warriors go small (they also will at times assign Klay Thompson to Ibaka) and Green must find a way to punish Ibaka. After a career-worst effort in Game 3, Green is due for a fabulous all-around game.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip surgery) is listed as out.
Thunder: No injuries listed.
Danny Crawford (lead), John Goble, Bill Kennedy and Pat Fraher (alternate).
ROAD TO THE CONFERENCE FINALS
Warriors: Defeated Houston 4-1 in the first round; defeated Portland 4-1 in conference semifinal.
Thunder: Defeated Dallas 4-1 in the first round; defeated San Antonio 4-2 in conference semifinal.
This is the first postseason meeting between the teams. The Warriors swept three meetings in the regular season and have won seven of 10 over the past two seasons.
“Every game is a Game 7 now. For us, it’s must-win. It’s good for us. It’s not going to be easy, but I think we’ll be ready for the challenge.” – Shaun Livingston, conveying a sense of urgency entering Game 4