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3 things to watch on a night with no Stephen Curry

Brooklyn Nets

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Stephen Curry won’t play Saturday night when the Brooklyn Nets make their return trip to face the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.

The Brooklyn Nets, winners of three straight games and 2-0 on their current Western Conference trip, may have a chance to steal a game on the home court of the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors when the teams close their season series Saturday night at Oracle Arena.

Stephen Curry, the Warriors’ two-time NBA MVP, is out with an adductor injury sustained as Golden State was being blown out Thursday night at home by the Milwaukee Bucks, as reported by Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

The Warriors were already going to be without All-Star power forward Draymond Green, who is nursing foot and ankle injuries.

That doesn’t mean the cupboard is bare for Golden State (10-2) — far from it. As long as they have their other former NBA MVP, Kevin Durant — who by the way has won the last two Finals MVP trophies as well — and All-Star Klay Thompson, the Warriors still won’t lack firepower.

Add to that the fact the Warriors might be quite surly after absorbing a 134-111 beatdown on national television Thursday night, a loss that snapped an eight-game winning streak, and it’s anything but a sure thing for the Nets (6-6).

Brooklyn has won four of six since losing to the Warriors at Barclays Center 120-114 on Oct. 28, a game in which the Nets came back from 19 points down in the third quarter to get to within two in the final two minutes before Golden State was able to close out the victory.

The Nets haven’t won in Oakland since moving to Brooklyn; their last win there was on March 30, 2012 — also the last season the Warriors missed the playoffs and well before Golden State won three NBA titles in the last four seasons.

While the Warriors are battling a lot of injuries — they are also without backup point guard Shaun Livingston, who has been battling a sore right foot, and free-agent addition DeMarcus Cousins — another All-Star — has yet to play as he recovers from a torn Achilles sustained in January, the Nets come in as healthy as they’ve been all season.

DeMarre Carroll returned Friday after missing the first 11 games with an ankle injury and scored nine points in 14 minutes.

The Warriors haven’t lost consecutive games at home since dropping four in a row at Oracle last March and April while they were resting starters for the postseason.

This is a very big test for a young Nets team that is playing with confidence, holding onto the ball and defending as well as they have during coach Kenny Atkinson’s tenure.

Here are three things to watch as Brooklyn takes on the defending champs again.

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