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Game Preview: Warriors vs. Hornets - 12/29/17

AUTHENTIC FAN FRIDAY
The Warriors welcome the Hornets to Oracle Arena on Friday night for the first game of their last back-to-back set of 2017. This matchup will be the second and final meeting between the two teams this season, after the Warriors topped the Hornets 101-87 earlier this month. The game falls on Authentic Fan Friday, and all fans in attendance will receive a free cheer card, courtesy of NBC Sports Bay Area. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and fans can watch the action on NBC Sports Bay Area, or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game, the Warriors Mobile App and the Warriors Radio Network.

LAST TIME OUT
Patrick McCaw notched a season-high with 18 points in Golden State's 126-101 home victory over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW CHA
28-7 12-22
1st in West 12th in East
PTS: 114.9 (2nd) PTS: 104.2 (17th)
REB: 45.1 (7th) REB: 46.7 (2nd)
AST: 30.2 (1st) AST: 20.4 (28th)

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Shaun Livingston, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia
CHA: Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Dwight Howard

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Andre Iguodala (left knee soreness) is probable. Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) and Omri Casspi (sprained right ankle) are out. Team Notes
CHA: Cody Zeller (left knee surgery) is out. Julyan Stone and Dwayne Bacon are on G League assignment. Marcus Paige and Mangok Mathiang are not with team. Team Notes

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE
Kevin Durant recorded another three blocks in Golden State’s win over Utah on Wednesday, pushing his total to 70 on the season, which leads the NBA. He’s now blocked multiple shots in a career-best streak of 10-straight games, the longest such streak by a Warrior since a 10-game stretch by Adonal Foyle from April 8 - November 6, 2005. When asked who would get his vote right now for Defensive Player of the Year, the reigning winner of that award, Draymond Green, issued a vote in favor of his fellow forward. “I don’t think it’s really a race right now with the way he’s playing on the defensive side of the ball. It’s been spectacular,” Green said. “It’s a thing now. That is impressive. It didn’t seem possible for it to be a thing. But he’s getting more attention for that. If I had a vote, I’d vote for him right now.” Green is as good as it gets defensively in the NBA, and if you’ve impressed him on that end of the floor, you’ve certainly done something right.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW CHA
PTS: Curry (26.3) PTS: Walker (21.6)
REB: Green (7.5) REB: Howard (12.4)
AST: Green (7.4) AST: Walker (5.8)

CHARLOTTE SCOUTING REPORT
It’s been a rough ride for the Hornets as of late. After starting the season 8-9, Charlotte has won just four of their 17 games since and now sits at 12-22, six games out of a playoff spot in the East. Kemba Walker leads the team in scoring and ranks 19th in the NBA with an average of 21.6 points per game, while center Dwight Howard has enjoyed a bit of a career renaissance this year and is currently averaging a double-double with 15.5 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. Charlotte has struggled mightily from the field, and their 43.6 team field goal percentage ranks second-worst in the NBA, just slightly ahead of Chicago (.433) in dead last. They do, however, average the most free throws attempted per game (27.9), and only Houston makes more than the Hornets’ average of 20.4 per contest. The Warriors shoot the best percentage from both the field and the free throw line of any team in the league, and if they can remain that efficient on Friday, it’ll greatly improve their chances of coming away with a victory.

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