Game Preview: Warriors at Pelicans – 10/20/17

THE BEGINNING OF THE ROAD
After falling in the final seconds to the Rockets on Opening Night, the Warriors will attempt to earn their first victory of the 2017-18 season when they begin a three-game road trip in New Orleans on Friday. This will be the first of four matchups between the Warriors and Pelicans this season, with each side hosting two games on their home floor. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (Pacific). Watch the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and ESPN, or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game on the Warriors Radio Network.

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*Only available outside of the Bay Area

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LAST TIME OUT
Kevin Durant’s potential game-winning shot left his hand a fraction of a second too late and the Dubs were left with a 122-121 defeat on Tuesday. Full Recap

HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST SEASON
Golden State swept the four-game season series with the Pelicans last year. In fact, the Warriors have won seven in a row over New Orleans, and 17 of the last 18 meetings between the two teams. <!– Full Recap –>

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MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW
66-15
1st in West
116.0 PPG (1st)
44.3 RPG (9th)
30.4 APG (1st)

HOU

26-55
14th in West
104.7 PPG (17th)
43.6 RPG (15th)
20.9 APG (26th)

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PROJECTED STARTERS

GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia

NOP: Jrue Holiday, E’Twaun Moore, Dante Cunningham, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES

GSW: Team Notes

NOP: Team Notes

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NEW FACES, NEW PLACES
The vast majority of Golden State’s roster that won the Championship last year has returned for another season by the Bay, but there are a few noteworthy alterations. For instance, both Nick Young and Omri Casspi were signed during free agency, and those two sharpshooters figure to play a major role on Golden State’s bench units throughout the season. Also, second round pick Jordan Bell was acquired via the NBA Draft, and the young big man certainly made his presence felt throughout the preseason with his impactful play. On the other end of the court on Tuesday night, the Rockets will also be incorporating some new pieces into their roster. Specifically, Chris Paul – whom the Rockets acquired via trade this past offseason – will be making his first regular season start in a Houston uniform. The Warriors are obviously quite familiar with Paul due to his long tenure with the Clippers, but Tuesday will offer the first chance to oppose him in his new threads.

2016-17 TEAM LEADERS

GSW
PTS: Curry (25.3)
REB: Durant (8.3)
AST: Green (7.0)

HOU

PTS: Harden (29.1)
REB: Harden (8.1)
AST: Harden (11.2)

HOUSTON SCOUTING REPORT
The aforementioned addition of Paul was certainly a big one, as the chance to add a nine-time All-Star doesn’t come around very often. Paul will slide next to MVP runner-up James Harden to form one of the most star-studded backcourts the NBA has ever seen, and certainly one of the strongest in the league today. The Warriors, however, have a backcourt they feel confident putting up against anybody and for good reason, and the position battle between Paul-Harden and Curry-Thompson should prove to be a delight for fans throughout their three matchups in the season ahead. While both teams are extremely potent on offense, the Warriors were a significantly better defensive team than Houston last year, and the Rockets will likely need a strong defensive performance if they’re going to come away with the win on Tuesday night.

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