Pictured: Stephen Curry
Source: Harry How / Getty Images North America

Preview: Warriors at Trail Blazers

The Golden State Warriors look to wrap up play before the All-Star break with their 17th victory in the past 18 games when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The Warriors have scored at least 100 points in 27 straight games after registering a 115-108 home win over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Golden State has opened up a three-game lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference and will be shooting for its sixth straight win before getting in a bit of relaxation. “That week off is nice but we got to finish the job,” Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry said in a postgame television interview. “We want to end on a high note, go up to Portland and get a win and feel good about ourselves and get rejuvenated and come back looking forward to that playoff push.” Portland has lost three of its past four games after falling 120-111 to the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard is averaging 28 points against Golden State this season, including a 40-point effort during a 115-105 loss on Dec. 29.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), NBCS Northwest (Portland)

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (41-15): Shooting guard Klay Thompson scored 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting against Utah despite dislocating the ring finger on his left hand in the first quarter. Coach Steve Kerr said after the contest that Thompson will play against Portland and marveled at the reliability of the eight-year veteran. “His availability every single night is one of his best attributes as an NBA player,” Kerr said. “It is just incredibly valuable to have a guy you just know you can count on. Even on nights where he gets banged up, he seems to kind of shake it off and come right back.”

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (33-23): Lillard scored 31 points against Oklahoma City for his second 30-point outing and his sixth in his past 11 appearances. Shooting guard CJ McCollum scored 30 or more points in three straight games and four of six before struggling with 11-of-37 shooting – averaging 13.5 points – in back-to-back losses to Dallas and Oklahoma City. Backup guard Rodney Hood is getting incorporated into the mix and is averaging 10.3 points while making 13-of-19 shots in three games since being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Warriors are 2-1 against the Trail Blazers this season and have won 18 of the past 24 meetings.

2. Golden State SF Kevin Durant scored 28 points against Utah and has scored 20 or more in 28 of the past 29 contests.

3. Portland backup SF Jake Layman scored 17 points in the loss to the Thunder and has scored in double digits in 10 of the past 13 games.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Source: Ezra Shaw / Getty Image North America

Preview: Spurs at Warriors

The Golden State Warriors struggled to find the energy to compete in two games at home after returning from a long trip but managed to split the two and will try to secure a winning three-game homestand when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. The Warriors will play three of five at home leading up to the All-Star break as they try to build momentum for the stretch run.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Golden State swept a five-game road trip and was enjoying an 11-game winning streak before falling 113-104 at home to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday and needed an injection of energy in the form of a DeMarcus Cousins dunk on Saturday before shaking off the cobwebs and pulling away for a 115-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. “I thought his dunk brought the arena to life,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “It brought the team to life. We were searching for energy and emotion up until that point.” The Spurs were enjoying a five-game winning streak before beginning the annual rodeo road trip with a 127-112 loss at the Sacramento Kings on Monday. San Antonio has seven stops left on a road trip that spans the All-Star break and includes trips to Portland and Utah this week.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, KENS (San Antonio), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)

ABOUT THE SPURS (32-23): San Antonio went 2-4 on the rodeo road trip last season and got off to an inauspicious start this year while allowing its most points in a loss since falling 139-105 at Utah on Dec. 4. The Spurs allowed the upstart Kings to shoot 55.6 percent from the floor and were outscored by 11 points in the second half. The positive was an offensive breakout from star guard DeMar DeRozan, who scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting after going 8-of-26 from the floor in the previous two contests.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (37-15): Golden State’s biggest challenge over the final two months of the regular season will be getting Cousins up to speed after he missed the first 45 games recovering from Achilles surgery. The 28-year-old is averaging 14.4 points on 43.6 percent shooting in seven games and pointed to Saturday’s big dunk as a step in the right direction. “It feels good to be able to finish,” Cousins told reporters. “Obviously, I haven’t been finishing the way that I would like; that’s still a process that I am trying to get through. Just finding my touch and balance around the rim. It was a good finish, I am happy about that.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Warriors SF Kevin Durant is 4-of-23 from 3-point range over the last five games.

2. Spurs PG Derrick White (plantar fasciitis) sat out Monday and could be out until after the All-Star break.

3. San Antonio took the first meeting of the season 104-92 at home on Nov. 18 behind 24 points and 18 rebounds from All-Star PF LaMarcus Aldridge.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Pictured: Thaddeus Young
Source: Andy Lyons / Getty Image North America

Preview: Warriors at Pacers

The Indiana Pacers’ first game without star guard Victor Oladipo didn’t go so well, and the path forward isn’t getting any easier. The Pacers will try to move to 1-1 since Oladipo’s season-ending knee injury when they host the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Indiana somehow regrouped after watching Oladipo’s gruesome injury in Wednesday’s 110-106 home win over the Toronto Raptors but could not find a way forward on Saturday at Memphis, when they suffered a 106-103 loss two days after learning he was diagnosed with a ruptured quad tendon. “We’re just trying as a team to find ourselves without Victor Oladipo,” Pacers forward Thaddeus Young told reporters. “That’s one of the biggest things. Our offense was a little stagnant as opposed to having Victor out there. That’s no excuse.” The Warriors picked up their 10th consecutive win with a 115-111 triumph at Boston on Saturday but still believe they can be better. “It hasn’t been perfect, and we know we can still be better,” All-Star guard Steph Curry told reporters. “We’ve talked about putting a run together for a while now, and we’re right in the middle of a really good one. You want to create good vibes, especially with the All-Star break coming up, and continue to build momentum the second half of the season.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Indiana

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (35-14): Golden State is back on its familiar perch atop the Western Conference as its offense rounds into shape. The Warriors have five current or former All-Stars in the starting lineup with center DeMarcus Cousins joining the team and are quickly getting used to playing together. “Probably the best thing we’re doing now is taking care of the ball,” Curry told reporters. “Playmakers are making the right decisions more times than not, getting shots up — that’s obviously when the talent takes over. Our defense has been better. People are settling into rotations with DeMarcus, and we got an edge about us.”

ABOUT THE PACERS (32-16): Indiana went 7-4 with Oladipo out of the lineup with a knee injury in November and December but is in a much different position with the star gone for the rest of the season and needs players like Tyreke Evans and Aaron Holiday to step up. Evans started in Oladipo’s spot on Saturday and managed nine points in 24 minutes while Holiday came off the bench and scored seven points on 3-of-11 shooting. Small forward Bojan Bogdanovic led the team with 21 points against the Grizzlies but went 1-of-6 from 3-point range and fouled out.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Curry went 6-of-12 from 3-point range on Saturday after slumping to 7-to-29 over the previous three contests.

2. Pacers C Myles Turner blocked multiple shots in each of the last six games and leads the NBA at an average of 2.79.

3. Indiana took both meetings last season by a total of 31 points.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Photo: DeMarcus Cousins
Source: Ezra Shaw / Getty Image North America

Preview: Warriors at Clippers

The Golden State Warriors seem to have found their high gear over the last few games and are about to hit the overdrive button with the addition of another All-Star. The Warriors will welcome center DeMarcus Cousins to the lineup when he makes his team and season debut on Friday at the host Los Angeles Clippers.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Cousins, who signed a one-year deal with the defending champions in the offseason after suffering a torn Achilles as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans, told ESPN that he is coming back better after spending the rehab process working on all areas of his game and he is ready to help Golden State win. “I’m back, and I’m not looking back,” Cousins said in an ESPN interview. “I’m moving forward. I’m leaving it on the floor every night. And I plan on coming back for that top spot.” The Clippers are sliding in the wrong direction in a tightly packed Western Conference and are failing to take advantage of a four-game homestand that saw them fall to Detroit, New Orleans and the Utah Jazz in the first three contests. “When you go through tough stretches it’s not the end, it’s where you are right now,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “We have to keep plugging through.”

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (31-14): Cousins’ presence could create even more space on the floor for former MVP Stephen Curry, who is in the midst of a historic shooting stretch. Curry became the first player in NBA history to make at least eight 3-pointers in three straight games when he went 9-of-17 from beyond the arc in a 147-140 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday – Golden State’s sixth straight victory. “When Mark Jackson said (Curry) was ruining the game, I know a lot of people took that personal,” Warriors All-Star forward Kevin Durant told reporters of the ESPN announcer and former player and coach. “But I kind of got it a little bit, because he’s the only person I’ve ever seen that can shoot those shots in rhythm like that and make them. And now everybody else think they can, and you can’t. And that’s why I shake my head, because once in a generation, once in a lifetime type of talent and movement. His movements out there are just so smooth, it makes it look so easy. So, when he’s knocking down those shots it’s just a joy to see.”

ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (24-20): Los Angeles allowed the Jazz to shoot 51.2 percent from the floor and score 41 points in the fourth quarter in Wednesday’s 129-109 setback, which marked the team’s fourth consecutive defeat. The Clippers couldn’t keep pace with Danilo Gallinari (nine points on 3-of-14 shooting) and Tobias Harris (17 on 6-of-14) suffering through poor shooting nights, and Rivers suggested the offensive woes stemmed from a lack of team play. “I thought offensively we were an individual team a lot tonight and defensively we had just too many breakdowns,” Rivers told reporters.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Warriors PF Draymond Green totaled 27 assists and two turnovers over the last two games.

2. Clippers SG Avery Bradley scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting Wednesday, reaching double figures for the second time in eight games this month.

3. Golden State suffered a 121-116 loss at Los Angeles on Nov. 12.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Photo: LeBron James
Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

Preview: Lakers at Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have gotten used to playing against Lebron James on Christmas Day, but this time he’ll be in a different uniform. The Warriors will try to get the better of James for the second straight time on Christmas when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Golden State faced James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the last four NBA Finals but will be seeing him for the first time in a Lakers uniform during the regular season on Tuesday. “I really don’t give a damn about him being in a Laker uniform,” Warriors forward Draymond Green told reporters. “That really doesn’t matter to me. That is the team he is on and that is who we face. It obviously is going to be a tough challenge, they are playing well.” James and Los Angeles dropped four of their last six and are coming off a 107-99 loss to Memphis as they try to build a team that can compete with the Warriors in the West. “We can’t measure ourselves versus them,” James told reporters of Golden State. “That’s a team that’s won three out of four championships, the last four years. You can’t measure yourself versus them.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC

ABOUT THE LAKERS (19-14): Los Angeles is trying to build a championship roster around James and is looking for consistent effort out of the role players on both ends of the floor. “We lost because we stopped playing defense,” Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters after the loss to the Grizzlies. “They scored 35 (points in the fourth quarter) and we went under on (Mike) Conley on a three and we switched out to Conley and we weren’t up to the level of the three. So, it’s things that we know better and we can control that cost us and caused us to lose that game.” James recorded team highs of 22 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in the setback and is averaging 27.6 points, 8.2 boards and 7.2 assists.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (23-11): Golden State remains the team to beat in the West and knocked off another team from Los Angeles at home with a 129-127 win over the Clippers on Sunday, led by 42 points from superstar Stephen Curry and 35 from fellow former MVP Kevin Durant. “It’s incredible to play with those guys,” Green told reporters of Curry and Durant. “I try to be a leader out there and a coach on the floor. When I have to call a play it’s very easy, give the ball to one of them two and let them do what they do on a nightly basis. They are a big part of the reason we’ve had the success we’ve had.” Curry and Durant are averaging a combined 58.2 points and 11.3 assists.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Lakers Cs Tyson Chandler (back) and JaVale McGee (illness) both sat out Sunday and are questionable for Tuesday.

2. Warriors SG Klay Thompson is 7-of-36 from 3-point range over the last six games.

3. Golden State took the last seven in the series.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Warriors at Cavaliers

It doesn’t have quite the same juice as it used to when LeBron James was around, but it’s still special when the participants in the last four NBA Finals get together in the regular season. The Cleveland Cavaliers will try to get some revenge when they host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in three of the last four NBA Finals, including the last two, but Cleveland is no longer among the elite teams in the Eastern Conference since the departure of James. The Cavaliers are fighting to stay out of the basement in the East and lifted themselves to 5-18 with a 99-97 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. Golden State is not on top of the West at the moment but remains a Finals favorite and finally looked like the team that won those titles while it rolled the Atlanta Hawks 128-111 on Monday. “We have a great offense where we emphasize ball movement, body movement, making the right play and trying to find a great shot every time down,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant told reporters after the victory. “Tonight, we saw something working in our movement game.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Ohio (Cleveland)

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (16-9): Superstar guard Stephen Curry was playing his second game back after missing 11 with a groin injury on Monday and managed to shake off the last of the rust while exploding for 18 points in the first quarter en route to 30 on 10-of-17 shooting. “I think with Steph, our offense is so free-flowing,” Durant told reporters. “And if it’s Steph getting 18 points in the first quarter or Klay (Thompson) or myself, it starts off with passing the basketball. So, I think, obviously, Steph scored the points, but we all had a hand in setting screens, throwing the ball to him, getting out of the way so he could be aggressive. He’s just all otherworldly when he makes those types of shots and definitely got us going tonight.” Durant finished with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting and eight assists in the win.

ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (5-18): Cleveland is still working on its roster in the post-James era and brought in guard Alec Burks from the Utah Jazz last week in the deal that sent Kyle Korver out of town. Burks finished with 13 points on Monday and punctuated the effort with a go-ahead dunk in the final seconds. “He attacks the basket,” Cavaliers coach Larry Drew told reporters of Burks. “Because he’s so athletic, he can maneuver to the basket and get a shot off. The one thing I was trying to do, I wanted to be aggressive on the last play of the game. If the same shot hadn’t gone in, just wanted to take them to overtime. We were going to get the last shot. He just made a really good move with the basketball.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Cavaliers C Tristan Thompson recorded a double-double in seven of the last eight games.

2. Warriors PF Draymond Green (toe) is expected to miss his 10th straight game.

3. Golden State took both regular season meetings in 2017-18 and swept the NBA Finals.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Warriors at Raptors

The Toronto Raptors host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday in what could be an NBA Finals preview – if the teams are at full strength. The Warriors could get some of their major pieces back in the lineup on Thursday with Stephen Curry (groin) and Draymond Green (toe) both participating in practice.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Green and Curry are both expected to return sometime during the team’s five-game road trip, and Curry has progressed to the point that he is participating in team scrimmages. “He’s just trying to get his rhythm and his conditioning down,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters of Curry, who is averaging 29.5 points while shooting 51.5 percent from the floor and 49.2 percent from beyond the arc. “He’s doing well.” The Raptors are looking like the best team in the NBA and extended the current winning streak to six straight by recovering from a 17-point deficit to earn a 122-114 win at Memphis on Tuesday. “We didn’t really bring our game with us, but we found it,” Toronto coach Nick Nurse told reporters.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), TSN (Toronto)

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (15-7): Golden State is 5-5 in the 10 games that Curry has missed, though they managed to win the last three behind some strong performances from Kevin Durant. The former MVP collected 49 points, nine assists and six rebounds in a 116-110 win over Orlando on Monday that capped a four-game homestand. “Incredible,” Kerr told reporters of Durant’s performance. “The guy is just amazing. He’s so talented. I think the last few games he just kind of knew he had to put us on his shoulders because of the four-game losing streak, the struggles.”

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (18-4): Toronto leans on its depth and got 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, from reserve point guard Fred VanVleet in Tuesday’s triumph. “Obviously, we all know I haven’t been shooting the ball well, so to get back on track is always fun,” VanVleet, who scored in double figures in each of the last four games after reaching the mark three times in the first 10 games this month, told reporters. The Raptors are third in the NBA in scoring at an average of 117 points and shot 60.9 percent from the floor in Tuesday’s win.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Warriors PG Quinn Cook is 5-of-21 from the floor over the last two games.

2. Raptors SF Kawhi Leonard posted his third straight double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds on Tuesday.

3. Golden State took the last eight in the series, including four straight in Toronto.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Thunder at Warriors

The fun-loving Golden State Warriors are a thing of the – very recent – past, and the discontent led the team to losses in each of its last three games and five of seven. The Warriors will try to turn things around when they return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Golden State has not been the same team since point guard Stephen Curry went down with a groin injury and an ugly incident between All-Star forwards Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, which led to a one-game suspension for Green. “We’ve had such a charmed existence the last four seasons,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters after a 104-92 loss at San Antonio on Sunday. “This is the toughest stretch we’ve been in. This is the real NBA. We haven’t been in the real NBA the last few years. We’ve been in this dream. And so now we’re faced real adversity and we got to get out of it ourselves.” The Thunder had a three-game winning streak come to an end with a 117-113 loss at Sacramento on Monday, which coincided with the return of star point guard Russell Westbrook. The former MVP collected 29 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the setback and settled in after a slow start.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FS Oklahoma, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)

ABOUT THE THUNDER (10-6): All-Star forward Paul George scored 27 points on Monday but was 9-of-24 from the floor, including 4-of-14 from 3-point range. “They play fast, they play early in the shot clock. It took us a second to get things under control,” George told reporters. “General statement for the game: we didn’t shoot well enough to win the game.” Those shooting woes extended to the bench, from where point guard Dennis Schroder, who started the previous six games in place of Westbrook, was just 3-of-17 in his return to the reserve corps.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (12-6): Golden State’s offense is based on movement, sharing the ball and spacing, and the constant lineup changes brought on by new players and injuries are having an impact. “We’ve got to move the ball,” Kerr told reporters. “We’ve got to trust each other. That’s the hallmark of our team. We’ve got playmakers all over the floor. We’ve got guys who can dribble, pass and shoot. And what we’ve done the last few years is we’ve shared the ball. The ball has moved, and we’ve gotten each other great shots. We’re not getting great shots right now. We’re taking a lot of contested shots.” Shooting guard Klay Thompson is having the toughest time getting his shot to fall and went 5-of-27 from 3-point range in losses at Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Durant is 1-of-17 from 3-point range over the last four games.

2. Thunder PF Nerlens Noel (illness) sat out Monday and is day-to-day.

3. Golden State is riding a three-game winning streak in the series, including a 108-100 home triumph on Oct. 16.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Warriors at Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs will try to bounce back from a winless three-game road trip against the top team in their conference when they host the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. A 116-111 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday capped the Spurs’ 0-3 swing, and they are in danger of falling below .500 – a place they haven’t been since starting the 2015-16 season 0-1.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

“Everybody on this team hates losing,” San Antonio guard DeMar DeRozan told reporters. “We want to figure it out as quick as possible. We want to get on top of this thing and get rolling.” This marks the first meeting of the season between the two teams that have accounted for the last six Western Conference crowns. The Warriors have lost two in a row for the first time this season after falling 112-109 at Dallas on Saturday, which left the defending champs with a 4-4 road mark. Leading scorer Stephen Curry (groin) missed his fifth straight game while forward Draymond Green (toe) also was sidelined and already has been ruled out for this contest.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Southwest (San Antonio)

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (12-5): Kevin Durant (32 points) and Klay Thompson (22) accounted for roughly half of Golden State’s points Saturday, but they were a combined 2-for-15 from 3-point range. The other three starters combined for only 13 points while four reserves totaled 42 on 16-of-28 shooting. Guard Quinn Cook led that quartet with 15 points and is averaging 15.1 over his last seven games while making 55.9 percent from long range.

ABOUT THE SPURS (7-7): DeRozan scored 34 points in the loss to the Clippers while star forward LaMarcus Aldridge continued his offensive woes with 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting. The six-time All-Star is averaging 12.6 points – more than 10 below his average in 2017-18 – while shooting 32.4 percent over his last five games. “He’s going to figure it out,” DeRozan told reporters of Aldridge. “His whole career, he’s been a scorer, shooter. That don’t go nowhere. I see guys at 70 years old … (Shooting) is the last thing that goes. It’s definitely going to come back around.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Spurs C Pau Gasol (foot) is expected to miss his sixth straight game and SF Davis Bertans will sit this one out after being placed in the league’s concussion protocol.

2. Durant averaged 28.2 points and 8.6 rebounds in the playoffs against the Spurs last season.

3. Golden State averaged 114.7 points in three regular-season wins over San Antonio in 2017-18 and then was held to a season-low 75 in its one loss to the Spurs.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Warriors at Rockets

The Golden State Warriors are fighting through some in-house drama while trying to downplay a dustup between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green that ended with Green getting suspended by the team for a game. Green and Durant will try to work together again when the Warriors visit the Houston Rockets on Thursday in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

A public shouting match on the court during Monday’s overtime loss at the Los Angeles Clippers spilled over into the locker room, which led to Green being suspended for Tuesday’s 110-103 home win over the Atlanta Hawks. “I’m gonna keep that in-house,” Durant told reporters of his interactions with Green after scoring 29 points to lead the team on Tuesday. “That’s what we do here. I mean, obviously I know you guys got a job to do, but I’m not trying to give nobody no headlines. What happened, happened. We’re trying to move on — just trying to play basketball.” The Rockets are not the same team that took Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference finals last spring but at least appear to be trending in the right direction with wins in back-to-back games and Carmelo Anthony reportedly on his way out of town. Houston averaged 112 points in wins over the Pacers and Nuggets after failing to reach the century mark in four straight contests.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (12-3): Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson was of the belief that Green and Durant would quickly be able to get back on the same page as long as the team wins. “A win on Thursday,” Thompson told reporters when asked what would defuse the situation. “And a win on Saturday and Sunday. Once we go on a little win streak (the Green-Durant situation) will not matter. And this will be in the past like a ponytail.” The Warriors are operating without superstar point guard Stephen Curry, who will miss at least five more games with a groin injury before being re-evaluated on Nov. 24.

ABOUT THE ROCKETS (6-7): The experiment of adding Anthony to the mix quickly fizzled and Houston is trying to move on by tightening up on the defensive end. “It’s going to take time, but we’re getting there,” Rockets star guard James Harden told reporters after Tuesday’s 109-99 triumph over the Nuggets. “If we keep guarding and defending at a high level our offense will come around. Once we put both together, it’s going to get scary.” Harden contributed 22 points and 11 assists in the win but went 2-of-10 from 3-point range and is 11-of-41 from beyond the arc over the last three contests.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Warriors PF Jones Jerebko started in place of Green on Tuesday and collected 14 points and 13 rebounds.

2. Rockets G/F Gerald Green (ankle) sat out the last two games but could return on Thursday.

3. Green averaged 8.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists in last season’s Western Conference finals.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Bucks at Warriors

The Golden State Warriors remain the team to beat in the NBA, but the Milwaukee Bucks are building something special and are intent on proving they belong among the game’s elite. The Bucks will try to prove as much when they visit the Warriors in the second of a four-game west coast road trip on Thursday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Milwaukee won its first seven games before dropping two of the last three, including a 118-103 loss at Portland on Tuesday to begin the trip. “I didn’t think we came out with the greatest attention to the 3-ball, attention to them coming off screening situations,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer told reporters after the loss. “So, that put us in a little bit of a hole.” Lack of attention to detail on the 3-ball and in screening situations can doom an opponent of the Warriors, who lead the NBA in team 3-point percentage at .423 while boasting three of the best shooters in the game in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, all of whom can operate off the screen. Golden State is enjoying an eight-game winning streak and knocked down 13-of-24 from beyond the arc while cruising to a 117-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)

ABOUT THE BUCKS (8-2): Milwaukee star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is the driving force behind the team’s hot start and is averaging 25.8 points on 54.4 percent shooting, 13.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists while drawing praise from his fellow superstars. “He’s just very unique and I think he owns his game,” Curry told reporters of Antetokounmpo. “He understands how he can be impactful every night. He obviously plays extremely hard every night. Some of the stuff he does, your jaw drops. The way he can cover ground in a few strides, the way he can finish in the paint and all those types of things, it’s pretty special.” Antetokounmpo is also second in the NBA in turnovers at an average of five per game.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (10-1): Curry leads the NBA in scoring at an average of 31.3 points while shooting 52.5 percent from the floor, 50.8 percent from beyond the arc and 92.3 percent from the free-throw line. Durant is right behind while averaging 27.7 points on 56.5 percent shooting, but the two will have to operate on Thursday without fellow All-Star Draymond Green, who is out with a sprained big toe suffered in Monday’s win. “It’s just day to day,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Wednesday’s practice. “No concern long term. So, we’ll just monitor it each day, and we’re so early in the season, obviously we’ll be cautious. We’ll see how it plays out.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Warriors also expect to be without PG Shaun Livingston (foot), who will miss his sixth straight game.

2. Bucks C Brook Lopez scored a season-high 22 points while going 6-of-10 from 3-point range on Tuesday.

3. Milwaukee earned a 116-107 win at Golden State last season as Antetokounmpo scored 32 points in a game Curry missed.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Pelicans at Warriors

Klay Thompson began the season in a massive shooting slump, but it only took one game to break out in a big way. Thompson will try to follow up a record-breaking performance as the Golden State Warriors return home to host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Thompson, who went 5-of-36 from beyond the arc in the first six games, buried an NBA-record 14 3-pointers and scored 52 points in a 149-124 win at the Chicago Bulls on Monday. “It’s the best feeling,” Thompson told reporters of finding his shooting stroke. “Something I haven’t felt in the first six, seven games. To snap out of a slump with the record, I couldn’t ask for a better way to do it. And I’m just going to continue this momentum on Wednesday, and it’s one of the best feelings in basketball when you touch the ball and feel like it’s going in every time.” The Pelicans might have to stop Golden State without their best defender if star forward Anthony Davis (elbow) is forced to miss a third straight game. New Orleans got off to a 4-0 start with Davis leading the way but dropped the last two contests without him in the lineup.

TV: 10:30 p.m. FS New Orleans, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)

ABOUT THE PELICANS (4-2): New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry refused to blame the absence of his superstar for a 116-111 loss at Denver on Monday in which his team turned the ball over 22 times. “I don’t think it’s ever understandable to turn the ball over 22 times,” Gentry told reporters. “I think what happened is that some of our turnovers came because we were trying to play in really tight, confined spaces. Against that team, you can’t do that.” Five of those turnovers belonged to reserve power forward Julius Randle, who otherwise played a solid game with 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 27 minutes.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (7-1): Golden State leads the NBA in team field-goal percentage (52.3) and assists (29.6), and coach Steve Kerr remains in awe of the unselfish nature of his team.” I can’t even tell you how lucky I am and how I feel every night just watching these guys and how unselfish they are,” Kerr told reporters. “They basically take turns, they encourage each other, they want each other to do well, and we have all this talent, but the key is these guys are committed to each other, they play hard for each other, and they want each other to have success, and that’s why it works, and it’s been amazing to be along for the ride.” Thompson broke the record of 13 set on Nov. 7, 2016 by teammate Stephen Curry, who went 13-of-17 in a 116-106 home win over New Orleans.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Pelicans PG Elfrid Payton (ankle) sat out Monday and is day-to-day.

2. Warriors PG Shaun Livingston (foot) missed the last two games and is questionable to play Wednesday.

3. The teams are meeting for the first time since Golden State knocked New Orleans out 4-1 in last season’s Western Conference semifinals.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Warriors at Knicks

Stephen Curry has settled into a consistently excellent level of play over the last several years and is capable of looking like the best player on the planet on any given night. Curry will try to follow up a 51-point effort when the Golden State Warriors begin a three-game road trip by visiting the New York Knicks on Friday.

To play this game at FanPicks…click here

Curry sat out the entire fourth quarter and ended up 11-of-16 from 3-point range in a 144-122 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. “Everything felt in rhythm,” Curry told reporters. “You start to get good looks, you don’t have to force anything to find them and you can just repeat that same motion and it’s going in. The crowd gets into it, my teammates are encouraging me.” The Knicks are losers of four straight and did not look like a team that could keep pace with the Warriors while getting crushed 110-87 at Miami on Wednesday. “It was just so many holes in that dam,” New York coach David Fizdale told reporters. “We just, we let go of the rope tonight. This is the first time I felt like we let go and it got to us mentally and broke us in the third (quarter).”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), MSG (New York)

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (4-1): Curry’s big night on Wednesday overshadowed another stellar effort from Kevin Durant (30 points on 13-of-18 shooting, eight rebounds, seven assists), who was happy to let Curry keep shooting. “A professional scorer like that, you’re just kind of in the zone at that point,” Durant told reporters. “You know exactly where your points need to come from. It was a joy to be on the same court with that. That was sick.” Golden State shot 57.6 percent from the floor in the win and is averaging 119.4 points.

ABOUT THE KNICKS (1-4): Center Enes Kanter had a streak of four straight double-doubles to begin the season come to an end when he was held to eight points and five rebounds on Wednesday, and he was not happy with his team’s effort. “We just put our head down and we stopped competing,” Kanter told reporters. “Especially on the road it doesn’t matter if you’re down 15, up by 20, whatever. You just have to stay competing and just stay together, that’s the most important thing.” The bright spot came from second-year guard Damyean Dotson, who scored a season-high 20 points off the bench.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. Knicks SG Tim Hardaway Jr. was held to a season-low 14 points on Wednesday and is shooting 41.6 percent from the floor.

2. Warriors SG Klay Thompson is off to a slow start at 4-of-27 from 3-point range.

3. Golden State took the last eight in the series and won the two meetings last season by an average of 13 points.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in NBA, Top Fantasy Picks