Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND -- After five road games, the Warriors on Wednesday return to Oracle Arena for a home game that will feel much like the continuation of the road trip.
They are in Oakland for all of one day, long enough to face the Boston Celtics, before leaving Thursday morning for two more road games.
The Warriors (52-11) will be seeking their third straight win, having responded this week to their first two-game skid with victories in New York and Atlanta.
The Celtics (40-24) won 13 of their first 25 games, but have since put together an extended stretch of success (27-12). Boston shown some vulnerability lately, though, going 3-4 since the All-Star break.
Warriors by 8.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Isaiah Thomas: It’s a reunion of two longtime rivals, dating back to Thomas’ days in Sacramento. Curry will spend significant time defending Thomas, but the Celtics will rely mostly on defensive ace Avery Bradley to guard Curry. It’s Curry and Thomas -- each the best player on his team -- who will set the tone and are mostly likely to dictate the direction. The winner here gives his team a decided advantage. If they offset each other, the edge goes to the Warriors.
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.
Celtics: C/F Al Horford (Right elbow sprain) and F/C Jonas Jerebko (Upper respiratory infection) are listed as questionable. Horford said Wednesday morning that he expects to play.
Warriors: 7-3. Celtics: 5-5.
The Warriors have won six of the last seven, including the first meeting this season, 104-88 on Nov. 18 in Boston. They have won 15 of the last 20 at home.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE FOURTH QUARTER: Boston leads the league in clutch wins with 28. That’s partly because they execute, partly because they defend but largely because Thomas has been the league’s most prolific scorer in the fourth quarter. Given that the Warriors are prone to late-game struggles, they don’t want this to be close.
WHO STARTS AT WING: Warriors coach Steve Kerr has indicated he alternate starters depending on matchups, with veteran Matt Barnes splitting the role with rookie Pat McCaw. Barnes likely starts if Boston opens big, with McCaw starting if the Celtics open small. Boston’s smallish backcourt may allow Klay Thompson to defend its wing, which could lead to McCaw starting.
GLASS WARS: Boston’s most glaring weakness is its rebounding, which ranks 27th.. The Warriors, by contrast, rank seventh in the league. This is a takeover opportunity for the Warriors, who are 29-0 when they outrebound their opponent.