OKLAHOMA CITY –- Stephen Curry will be in the starting lineup Sunday when the Warriors take the court at Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against Oklahoma City.
It’s only the second time this postseason Curry has been able to take his usual place with his teammates at tipoff.
Though the Warriors are 2-2 on the road, both losses -– at Houston in the first round and at Portland in the conference semifinals -– came with Curry sitting on the bench in street clothes, nursing injuries.
He’s healthy now, and returning to the scene of perhaps his No. 1 highlight this season -– a 37-foot 3-pointer to beat the Thunder in overtime on Feb. 27.
Warriors by 3
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Curry vs. Russell Westbrook: Though they don’t always defend each other, each sets the tone for his team. Westbrook has had only one fabulous quarter so far -– scoring 19 points in the third quarter of Game 1 -– and is shooting 26.9 percent over the other seven. If that continues, the Warriors come out ahead.
Andre Iguodala vs. Kevin Durant: Iguodala’s greatest value to the Warriors comes when he is summoned to defend the opponent’s best wing threat. He’s not going to stop Durant from scoring, but KD’s 13 turnovers are largely the result of pressure from Iguodala, with occasional help from a second defender.
Warriors vs. Chesapeake Energy Arena: Loud City lives up to its nickname. The Warriors, particularly Draymond Green and Curry, like nothing more than silencing a road arena. It feeds their souls. They’d like to do it early here.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip surgery) is listed as out.
Thunder: No injuries listed.
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 series between the teams. The Warriors swept three meetings in the regular season and, after losing Game 1, have won seven of nine over the past two seasons.
“The energy is going to be off the charts with their home crowd. The game plan doesn’t change. You just have to have another level of intensity, another level of focus and composure when it comes to playing on the road. We’ve done a great job all regular season and in the playoffs. We’ve had good experience with it, how to get wins. It’s most of the guys’ first playoff game in this building, so you’ve got to understand the atmosphere and be ready to go.” – Curry on the OKC home crowd.