The Warriors will be trying to sweep the Trail Blazers for the second time in three seasons Sunday night at 6:00 p.m., when they enter Moda Center in Portland.
And they’ll undertake the task without Stephen Curry, who due to stomach flu will miss a game for the first time this season.
Veteran point guard Shaun Livingston will start in place of Curry.
The Warriors (40-7) are coming off their most decisive victory of the season, 144-98, over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday at Oracle Arena. Curry scored 43 points to lead the charge.
Though the Blazers (21-27) have been one of the league’s most disappointing teams, there have been signs of revival. They have won their last three games, in the process beating playoff-caliber teams Boston and Memphis.
Warriors by 6
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Shaun Livingston and Klay Thompson vs. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum: Portland has the NBA’s highest-scoring backcourt, as Lillard and McCollum combine for an average of 49.7 points per game. No matter which guards are on the court for the Warriors, there will be considerable cross-matching on defense. The most effective backcourt is almost certain to prevail.
Warriors: G Stephen Curry (stomach flu) and C/F David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.
Trail Blazers: F Maurice Harkless (L calf strain) is listed as probable. F Ed Davis (L wrist sprain) is listed as doubtful. C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) is listed as out.
Warriors: 9-1. Blazers: 5-5.
The Warriors won the first three meetings this season, the last five overall and 14 of the last 17.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
SCOREBOARD ON FIRE: Even while playing at a relatively moderate tempo (10th in pace), the Portland is giving up an average of 110.2 points per game. Only Dallas and Phoenix are worse at defending the 3-ball. Even with Curry out, this is a recipe for disaster against the Warriors, who average a league-best 118.1 points per game and are No. 2 in 3-point shooting percentage.
KD TIME: The Blazers have yet to find an answer for Kevin Durant, who over the first three games is averaging 28.0 points on 65.9-percent shooting. Evan Turner draws the assignment, with Al-Faroug Aminu providing support off the bench. There will be opportunities for one of the league’s toughest matchups.
NORTHWEST CHANGES: Blazers coach Terry Stotts has made changes to the starting lineup he used last season and for most of this season, replacing forwards Maurice Harkless and Aminu with Noah Vonleh and Turner. The results have been positive, with the best defender of the bunch, Aminu, now coming off the bench.