Double-edged Warriors visit New Orleans

Double-edged Warriors visit New Orleans
January 18, 2014, 1:45 pm
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The Golden State Warriors (25-16) generally handle the New Orleans Pelicans (15-23) but rarely dominate them. (AP IMAGES)

Programming note: Warriors-Pelicans coverage tips off Saturday at 4:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (territorial restrictions apply)

Still smoldering from the Friday-night inferno that was Kevin Durant, the Warriors seek to salvage the second half of their brief road trip against the Pelicans on Saturday night at New Orleans Arena.

[RELATED: Durant's 54 points too much for Warriors]

Is it a game they should win? Absolutely. But the Warriors are a double-edged club, as capable of being terrific as they are of being terrible.

And when it goes wrong, it is usually because the Dubs, for a playoff-caliber team, spend an inordinate amount of time playing from behind. Sometimes they are not able to catch up.

"Hopefully we will find that consistency to not be in that situation,'' point guard Stephen Curry said after Friday night's loss to Oklahoma City, "but right now were challenged to find that tomorrow against another good team at home in the Western Conference.''

The Warriors (25-16) generally handle the Pelicans (15-23) but rarely dominate them. Coming off a game in which they felt helpless to slow the revelation that was Durant, this is a chance for them to get well.

[RELATED: Warriors defense fails spectacularly]

"Right now teams are a little bit too comfortable the last two nights,'' coach Mark Jackson said, referring to losses to Denver and OKC, each team surpassing 120 points. "We’ve got to get it back.

"The good news is we get another one (tonight). If you're made of something, you want to play (tonight) and you want to make the wrongs right.''

Having lost three of their last four games – after a 10-game win streak – this can be a pivotal stretch for the Warriors.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Klay Thompson vs. Eric Gordon. Thompson and Gordon similar inasmuch as they are capable of carrying an offense for quarter, a half or even a game. It's too simple to conclude the winner of this battle will dictate the result, but it's pretty close.

David Lee and Andrew Bogut vs. Anthony Davis. It's not that Pelicans center Jason Smith isn't worthy of attention. He is. But Davis is the game-changing big man in New Orleans. He's premier shot-blocker, a superb rebounder. The first priority against the Pelicans is keeping him under wraps.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last six meetings, including two this season, and have not lost in New Orleans since Dec. 8, 2010. This is the third and final meeting between the teams this season.

LAST 10

Warriors 7-3, Pelicans 2-8.

INJURY REPORT

For the Warriors, centers Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist surgery) and Festus Ezeli (right knee surgery), and guard Nemanja Nedovic (strained left hamstring) are out indefinitely.

For the Pelicans, guard Jrue Holiday (stress fracture, right tibia) and forward Ryan Anderson (herniated disc) are out. Guard Tyreke Evans (ankle) is day to day.