OKLAHOMA CITY –- The Warriors know what’s coming Sunday night. As visitors for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals here, they are the enemy and therefore will be subjected to noise on top of noise.
Oracle Arena can reach airport-runway levels of sound, all in favor of the Warriors, and Chesapeake Energy Arena provides the same level of support for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“We're in hostile territory (Sunday), so we're excited for the challenge,” Stephen Curry said Saturday. “None of us has played, I don't think, in a playoff game here, so it should be fun.”
They call it Loud City here, and Chesapeake is among the most intimidating homecourt advantages in the NBA. The immediate goal, then, for the Warriors is to muffle the lungs of more than 18,000 fans dedicated to the home team.
“If you can win a game on the road, and quiet the other team's crowd, that's the best feeling in the world,” Draymond Green said. “You don't do that being separated. You have to be really tight on the road because things are going to go wrong, they're going to make a run, the crowd's going to get loud, and that's when you have to come together even more. So I think we do a really good job of that.
“You've got to come out locked in from the jump,” Green said. “You've got to be ready to not only match their intensity level, but go way beyond it, because if you match their intensity level at home, you lose.”
The Thunder since 2009-10 have thrived at home, going 212-67, the second best home record in the NBA during that span. They have, however, dropped one home game in each of the two previous playoffs series, against Dallas and San Antonio.
With OKC now holding the homecourt advantage, with three of a possible five games played here, the Warriors realize they must win at least one road game to take the series.
“It takes togetherness and an incredible amount of focus,” Green said. “You have to be locked in from the gate. You don't get a cushion on the road, especially in the playoffs. You don't get a cushion to come out slacking and all of a sudden you come back – not in the playoffs.”