The two best teams in the NBA meet Wednesday night in Oakland but both will be missing a key player. The Atlanta Hawks will be without Kyle Korver who suffered a broken nose earlier this week while the Golden State Warriors will be missing Klay Thompson from their lineup.
Korver suffered a broken nose in Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers. He was declared out for at least the remainder of Atlanta's road trip and will have to wear a mask once he does return. Thompson suffered a sprained ankle against those same Lakers on Monday and was declared out for a week to 10 days by his head coach Steve Kerr.
Wednesday's game means little for either team in the big picture. Both the Hawks and the Warriors hold sizable leads in their respective conferences. But, there is a buzz around these matchups and while the loser will simply shake it off as a meaningless regular season game, the winner will likely garner a bit of confidence should the two teams meet in the Finals.
Atlanta won the first meeting at Philips Arena 124-116 in one of the most entertaining games of the regular season for those fortunate enough to be watching. Despite being a match up of the two top teams in the league, the first meeting was not a national TV game. Wednesday's game will be on the national stage with ESPN handling the broadcast duties.
Jeff Teague was the catalyst in that earlier meeting finishing with 23 points and 17 assists. Paul Millsap added 21 points while Mike Scott chipped in 17 off the bench including three made three-pointers. Scott won't play on Wednesday as he continues to recover from a broken toe.
Thompson's 29 points led the Warriors while Stephen Curry added 26 of his own. No one else scored more than 12 for the Warriors.
Despite the injuries, Wednesday's game figures to be an entertaining one by two teams that play a very enjoyable brand of basketball. Golden State has lost just two games at home all season so it will be yet another test for these Atlanta Hawks who have made a habit out of passing tests this season.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, March 18, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California
TV: ESPN, SportSouth
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM