The duel between the New Orleans Pelicans and Golden State Warriors will take place in San Francisco on Friday night. Both teams are competing in the Western Conference playoff race while they wait for injured All-Stars to return.
The Pelicans will have a better schedule than Golden State for the third straight season, despite playing at a location where the Warriors have gone 26-7 this season.
In November, New Orleans defeated the Warriors in two straight games at home, with Golden State playing on the second night of two consecutive road games. The Pelicans were off the clock the day before each of those games, just like they were on Thursday when the Warriors defeated the visiting Los Angeles Clippers by a score of 115-91.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green were all rested by Warriors coach Steve Kerr in both of their previous matches, which ended 114-105 on Nov. 4 and 128-83 on Nov. 21.
Golden State’s losses were led by Jordan Poole, who scored 20 and 26 points, while Jonathan Kuminga scored 18 points in each game.
After coming from behind to beat the Clippers, the Warriors are ready for their next game against New Orleans.
Curry (knee) and Wiggins (personal) are expected to be out again for Golden State, as was Green (knee) on the second night of a back-to-back last week. However, Thompson participated in both ends of the pairing last week and scored 42 points, including 12 3-pointers, in a 116-101 victory over the Houston Rockets on the second night at home.
Green was replaced after 29 minutes due to the lopsided outcome on Thursday, increasing his likelihood of playing against the Pelicans as Golden State attempts to complete a 5-0 homestand.
Curry, who has been sidelined for the past ten games because of a ligament in his left leg that is partially torn, may return on Sunday, when Golden State plays the Los Angeles Lakers.
From the comfort of their San Francisco hotel rooms, the Pelicans were able to observe the Warriors’ victory over the Clippers. The night before, New Orleans defeated Portland 121-110 and flew into town on Thursday.
Since Zion Williamson last played on Jan. 2 due to a strained hamstring, the Pelicans have won just eight of their last 26 games. After a checkup next week, New Orleans hopes to have the star back on the court.
On CJ McCollum’s homecoming night, Brandon Ingram’s 40-point performance against the Trail Blazers stole the show. With 24 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, McCollum contributed.
Both Jose Alvarado (tibia) and Larry Nance Jr. (ankle), who aren’t expected back until at least the middle of the month, helped New Orleans win.
Willie Green, the coach of the Pelicans, realized that if his team is going to survive in the competitive Western playoff race, they will need more of the same from Ingram.
On March 28, the Warriors and Pelicans will play another game in San Francisco to conclude their season series.