Warriors

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

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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 erase another big deficit vs. Blazers, make NBA playoff history

Warriors erase another big deficit vs. Blazers, make NBA playoff history

The Warriors did it again Monday night. 

Yes, they clinched their fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals with an overtime win in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. But their victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center made history in another sense, 

With Monday's win, Golden State became the first team to overcome three consecutive 15-point deficits in the NBA playoffs in two decades. 

Golden State trailed by 17 points with 1:55 remaining in the third quarter, and a Steph Curry 3-pointer cut it 14 just 13 seconds later. 

[RELATED: Warriors will have plenty of time to rest before Finals start]

"We know we can cover 17 points in a matter of three, four minutes," Draymond Green told reporters in Portland on Monday. "So we always try to keep that mindset that we're never out of the game, and we just need to make solid plays. It definitely helps to have No. 30, who -- you know, they go up 17 and he hits a three. It just kind of puts them back on their heels, and it shifts the momentum for us. We just really understand what we're capable of on both sides of the basketball. We're never out of the fight, and that's just always our mindset."

It took the Warriors a little longer than three or four minutes, as they didn't tie the game until there was 4:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. But at least in part because of that mindset, the Warriors are once again headed to the Finals. 

2019 NBA Finals schedule: Warriors start on road vs. Bucks-Raptors winner

2019 NBA Finals schedule: Warriors start on road vs. Bucks-Raptors winner

Hurry up and wait.

That's what the Warriors did, and what they're going to do, after completing the four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals Monday night.

Because the Warriors are going to be waiting a while until they play next.

Golden State has secured its fifth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, where they'll take on the eventual winner of the Bucks-Raptors series for the NBA Championship. Both Milwaukee and Toronto finished the regular season with superior records to Golden State's, so we know the Warriors will begin that next series on the road.

[RELATED: Dubs in elite company with fifth straight NBA Finals trip]

Game 1 of the Finals is Thursday, May 30. That's the only game date that has been announced as of yet, but if we're to assume the same schedule as last year (in terms of days between games), an educated guess might look something like this:

Game 1: Thurs., May 30 in MIL/TOR
Game 2: Sun., June 2 in MIL/TOR
Game 3: Wed., June 5 at Oracle Arena
Game 4: Fri., June 7 at Oracle Arena
Game 5*: Mon., June 10 in MIL/TOR
Game 6*: Thurs., June 13 at Oracle Arena
Game 7*: Sun. June 16 in MIL/TOR

*If necessary

In each of the Warriors' last four trips to the Finals, they held homecourt advantage, so this will be a new experience for them. In any case, they'll have plenty of time to prepare, as the Bucks currently lead the Raptors two-games-to-one in the Eastern Conference finals.