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Game Preview: Warriors at Celtics - 11/16/17

TIME TO HIT THE ROAD
The Warriors wrapped up a four-game homestand on Monday night, and on Thursday the Dubs will tip off a four-game road trip. Thursday’s nationally televised showdown with Boston will mark the first of this season’s two games between the Warriors and Celtics. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Bay Area and TNT. Fans can also listen to the call on 95.7 The Game and the Warriors Radio Network.

LAST TIME OUT
The Dubs went back to the formula that works and picked up a 110-100 win over the visiting Magic on Monday night. Full Recap

HEAD-TO-HEAD LAST SEASON
The Warriors and Celtics split their two matchups during the 2016-17 season, as each team won on the road. The Dubs have won each of their last four trips to Boston and overall have won seven of their last 10 against the Celtics.

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
GSW
11-3
1st in West
PTS: 119.6 (1st)
REB: 44.9 (12th)
AST: 31.3 (1st)
BOS
13-2
1st in East
PTS: 102.7 (22nd)
REB: 47.6 (4th)
AST: 22 (13th)

PROJECTED STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia
BOS: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford and Aron Baynes

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Stephen Curry (right thigh contusion) is probable. Damian Jones is on G League assignment. Team Notes
BOS: Kyrie Irving (minor facial fracture) is questionable. Gordon Hayward (left ankle fracture) is out. Team Notes

COMING IN HOT
Well, you simply won’t find any two hotter teams in the NBA right now than the Warriors and Celtics. Golden State enters Thursday’s matchup in Boston having won their previous seven games, while the Celtics are riding an NBA-best 13-game winning streak. Both teams have thoroughly dominated the competition over the course of their respective streaks, although the Warriors have actually outscored their opponents by more points during their streak (plus-166) than the Celtics have during theirs (plus-133). Each team currently sits atop their conference, and they’ve gotten there through different methods. The Warriors have far and away the best offense in the NBA, averaging 116.2 points per 100 possessions, which is at least 6.2 more points than any other team in the league. On the other hand, Boston has been the stingiest defensive team in the league, limiting their opponents to 95.8 points per 100 possessions up to this point in the season. As such, Thursday’s game pits the league’s best offensive and defensive teams against one another, meaning something’s gotta give.

TEAM LEADERS
GSW
PTS: Curry (25.2)
REB: Green (7.6)
AST: Curry (6.7)
BOS
PTS: Irving (20.6)
REB: Horford (8.8)
AST: Smart (5.5)

BOSTON SCOUTING REPORT
The Celtics might be the most pleasant surprise up to this point in the NBA season, due mainly to how it began. After free agent newcomer Gordon Hayward suffered a severe ankle injury in the first game, Boston has rebounded quite impressively, and currently has the best record in the NBA at 13-2. Hayward wasn’t the only marquee offseason addition, as Kyrie Irving has stepped up and leads the Celtics in scoring after being acquired in a trade with Cleveland. Jaylen Brown and first round pick Jayson Tatum offer length and potential in droves, while veteran Al Horford has been his typically reliable self in the paint. The top defense in the league so far, Boston has allowed their opponent to score over 102 points just twice. Meanwhile, Golden State has scored at least 103 points in 12 of their 14 games so far. Low scoring games are the Celtics’ specialty, so expect the Warriors to try to push the pace and see if Boston can keep up.

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