Warriors and Thunder clash

January 05, 2015 17:40:09 UK

The Golden State Warriors welcome in Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Oracle Arena in Oakland on Monday in a potentially fascinating match-up.

While the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers have all made fine starts to the campaign, there is still the sense that a Western Conference championship and a place in the NBA finals, will go through Oklahoma City when all is said and done.

The Thunder are 6.50 to win the Western Conference, with the Mavericks 7.00 and the Rockets 11.00.

It’s the third game between the two clubs with the Warriors having already taken the first two earlier in the campaign.

Durant and Russell Westbrook were missing when Golden State won at the Chesapeake Energy Arena back in November and likewise the Warriors were without Andrew Bogut when the Western Conference leaders secured the victory against the Thunder the week before Christmas.

Bogut is out once more and it seems likely that neither side will play each other at full strength during the regular season.

Over in Portland the Trail Blazers will look to bounce back from their loss to the Atlanta Hawks when they entertain the Los Angeles Lakers at the Moda Center.

Nine games ahead of the Thunder in the Northwest Division the Trail Blazers had won four straight prior to Saturday’s setback and are tied with Golden State for the most wins in the league so far this season.

The Miami Heat and Orlando Magic follow the Lakers into town later this week as Portland concludes its seven-game home stand.

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