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NBA: Golden State Warriors vs Brooklyn Nets | 22 December, 8:30 am (PST)

Mary C

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The Brooklyn Nets have shown throughout their current six-game winning streak that they can prevail in close game. In the last two games, the Nets had sluggish beginnings before displaying excellent execution in the fourth quarter. When they visit the struggling State Warriors on Wednesday night, they are hoping to get off to a faster start. Brooklyn has won by an average margin of 5.2 points during their winning streak, with its highest margin coming in a 112-100 away victory over the Washington Wizards on December 12. The Nets are coming home off with back-to-back three-point victories in Toronto and Detroit that featured comebacks form a double-digit deficit and were capped by thrilling final minutes. 

With such tough opposition, the Brooklyn player Royce O’Neale stated, “I think we’ve got to increase our level of play.” We can’t get out of the way we’ve been playing occasionally with a lack of intensity”. The Nets face an 18-point setback late in the second quarter and were behind by 10 at halftime in Friday’s 119-116 victory over the Raptors. Kyrie Irving’s 3-pointer at buzzer gave Brooklyn the victory after they scored 70 percent in the fourth quarter. The Nets overcame a first-half deficit of 19 points to defeat the Pistons 124-121 the following night. Brooklyn outscored Detroit 70-50 in the second half while scoring almost 60 percent. 

Both comeback victories were achieved thanks to outstanding performance from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant scored 26 of his 43 points on Sunday in the third quarter before Irving added 14 of his 38 points in the fourth. On Friday, Irving was able to score 15 of his 32 points in the final period. The nets are 12-5 in games decided by single digits after overcoming their sluggish starts, including 7-2 record in games decided by five points or less. Coach Jacque Vaughn of Brooklyn stated that “There has to be an enhanced level of attention and preparation”. You don’t want to go into a game and dig yourself a hole like we had the last two games because you might not be digging your way out of those”.  

Golden State will play its fourth game on Friday after losing Stephen Curry last week in a 125-119 defeat to the Indiana Pacers due to a left shoulder subluxation. After splitting game with the Philadelphia and Toronto, the Warriors were defeated by the home New York Knicks on Tuesday, with scores of 132-94. The embarrassing loss lowered Golden State to a League worst 3-15 on the road. The Warriors suffered their sixth loss in the previous eight games. Golden State coach Steve Kerr stated after his team gave up at least 13-0 points for the fourth time, "We sank today. We will continue to fight and play another game in Wednesday."

In the three games since Curry’s injury, Jordan Poole, who led the Warriors with 26 points, has average 32.7 points. Due to injury management, Klay Thompson will miss the second part of a back-to-back set, and Andrew Wiggins will miss his tenth straight game due to a groin ailment. Pool will likely be expected to be Golden State’s primary option. 

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