Warriors

If Warriors get off to good start in Game 5, it should be too much for Pelicans to overcome

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usati

If Warriors get off to good start in Game 5, it should be too much for Pelicans to overcome

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).

BETTING LINE

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.

[RELATED: 'The bigger the game, the better Draymond plays' -- a deep dive into the numbers]

INJURY REPORT

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.

GAME OFFICIALS

Derrick Stafford (crew chief), Ed Malloy, Josh Tiven, Bennie Adams (alternate)

SERIES HISTORY

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.

Warriors vs. Pacers watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

Warriors vs. Pacers watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

OAKLAND - After a successful four-game road trip, the champs are back home, starting a three-game home stretch against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.

 

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:00 pm with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Pregame Live at 6:30 and a scheduled 7:30 pm tip-off from Oracle Arena.

 

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors vs. Pacers online and on MyTeams app]

 

Entering Thursday, Indiana has lost three straight games, but, despite a season-ending injury to Victor Oladipo, coach Nate McMillan has the Pacers fourth in the Eastern Conference. 

 

Here's everything you need to know about the matchup.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F Kevin Durant 

F Draymond Green

C DeMarcus Cousins

G Klay Thompson

G Steph Curry

 

Pacers

F Thaddeus Young

F Bojan Bogdanovic

C Myles Turner

G Cory Joseph

G Wesley Matthews

 

INJURY REPORT 

Warriors: Damian Jones (Left Pectoral Surgery) is out

 

Pacers: G Darren Collison (Right quad contusion) is out, G Victor Oladipo (Right knee surgery) is out.

 

[RELATED: Draymond talks KD's free agency, guarantees Warriors will win title]

ROTATION

Warriors: Golden State has won three of its last four games. Cousins, who missed the Warriors' last two games, is expected to return Thursday evening. In the last matchup against Indiana, Cousins had a then-season-high 22 points, adding six points and four assists. 

 

A repeat performance from Boogie on Thursday will be vital for a team that's lost three of their last five games at home. 

 

Pacers: Despite Oladipo's knee injury, Indiana still finds itself in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Pacers have supplemented Oladipo's scoring by a balanced attack. Each of Indiana's starting five is averaging double figures, including forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who is averaging 17.8 points and 4.1 rebounds, shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.

 

Chris Bosh explains why Heat to blame for Kevin Durant joining Warriors

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AP

Chris Bosh explains why Heat to blame for Kevin Durant joining Warriors

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6 P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In July 2010, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh elected to team up in Miami.

About two years later, the Heat defeated Kevin Durant's Thunder squad in the 2012 NBA Finals.

Miami won the title again in 2013, while Oklahoma City never got back to the Finals.

In the summer of 2016, Durant chose to sign with the Warriors in free agency. Does KD leave OKC if Bosh and the Big Three didn't unite in South Beach?

“No,” Bosh told NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh. "That put pressure on him.

"I think it's kind of like a catch-22 that the modern athlete has been put in. There's so much emphasis on championships, right? And now guys are like, 'OK, I'm gonna position myself to win a championship,' and then that's when people don't like it."

And for KD specifically, many people still won't give him the credit he deserves for capturing two titles with the Warriors. The guy won back-to-back Finals MVPs and the haters continue to hold it against him that he chose to sign with Golden State.

After beating the Cavs in five games in 2017, Durant told The Ringer's Bill Simmons:

"People tell us we're superstars, and we really aren't ... after we won the championship, I had Taco Bell and it ran through me just like it would a normal person. I'm like, 'Oh sh*t. I thought I had a golden stomach (joking). I thought I was immune to everything, but no.

"That's the perception of it all -- we're just immortal. We're normal fu**ing people who are really good at what we do. But at the end of the day, we go to sleep just like everybody else. We really put on our pants just like everybody else ... it made me realize that I am not king anything because we won a championship." 

He then told NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors reporter Kerith Burke a couple weeks ago:

I don’t need anything in this basketball world to fulfill anything in me. The NBA is never going to fulfill me.

Bosh -- whose career was unfortunately cut short because of health problems -- agrees with KD's outlook.

[RELATEDPolice confirm Kevin Durant's 'adopted brother' killed outside Atlanta]

“There’s more (to life),” Bosh told NBC Sports. “If you’re fulfilled, then pretty much just give up on life and die after that, right? If you’re fulfilled? That’s a great statement that he (Durant) made.

"I think it’s telling people as well, this is just my interpretation, but it’s like, ‘Yo, chill’ because everybody puts the onus on that championship. It’s not going to fulfill you. And that’s one of the big secrets about it.”

It sounds like it's not a secret anymore.

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