OAKLAND — With a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night, the Warriors would reach the Western Conference Finals for the fourth consecutive season for the first time in franchise history..
For the first time this postseason, Warriors coach Steve Kerr is disclosing his starting lineup in advance. That’s because the resounding Game 4 success of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green is not to be tampered with.
The only team to go to at least four straight WC Finals in the post-merger era (since 1976), are the Los Angeles, who went eight straight years (1982-89).
Warriors by 11.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Draymond Green vs. Anthony Davis: Green was tremendous in Game 4 on Sunday, defending Davis, the rim and anyone who dared to enter his space. Davis totaled 26 points, but shot 8-of-22 from the field and committed six turnovers. Is Green capable of a repeat performance? That might be too much to ask, but he will have done his job if he can keep Davis from having an efficient, highly productive game.
Warriors: G Patrick McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) is listed as out.
Pelicans: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee injury), DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles rupture) and G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) are listed as out.
Derrick Stafford (crew chief), Ed Malloy, Josh Tiven, Bennie Adams (alternate)
Game 1: Warriors 123, Pelicans 101 Game 2: Warriors 121, Pelicans 116 Game 3: Pelicans 119, Warriors 100 Game 4: Warriors 118, Pelicans 92
The Warriors defeated New Orleans in three of four meetings during the regular season and are 13-2 against the Pelicans in the regular season in the Steve Kerr era.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
EARLY FURY: From the opening tip in Game 4, the Warriors were bringing the heat, never letting the Pelicans get comfortable. Needing one win to advance -- and avoid another trip to Louisiana -- expect the Warriors to apply the same ferocity. If the defense is on point, it should be too much for New Orleans to overcome.
THE BENCHES: Lost in all the chatter about the Warriors lineup for Game 4 was how thoroughly their bench outplayed that of the Pelicans, shooting 59.1 percent and outscoring them 30-14. That benches typically play better at home and New Orleans is not a deep team puts the Warriors in wonderful position to repeat that feat.
ROARACLE: The Oracle Arena crowd is at its most imposing when it senses a series victory. With the Warriors playing their best game of the postseason only two days earlier, anticipation will be in the air and the noise levels will be insane. That can make a difference to a Warriors team that absorbs energy from home crowds.