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Game Preview: Warriors vs. Celtics - 1/27/18

PREMIERE EAST-WEST MATCHUP
Coming off an exciting 126-113 victory over the Timberwolves, the Warriors will attempt to make it three wins in a row when they host the visiting Boston Celtics on Saturday night. This will be the second and final matchup between the two teams this season, each of which sits atop the standings in their respective conference. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Watch the action on ABC, or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game, ESPN Radio, the Warriors Mobile App and the Warriors Radio Network. FIND TICKETS

LAST TIME OUT
Golden State knocked down a season-high 21 three-pointers in their 126-113 home win over the Timberwolves on Thursday night. Full Recap


MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW BOS
39-10 35-14
1st in West 1st in East
PTS: 116.1 (1st) PTS: 102.9 (23rd)
REB: 44.2 (12th) REB: 44.4 (10th)
AST: 30.8 (1st) AST: 22 (21st)

EARLIER THIS SEASON
The Dubs lost this season’s first matchup with the Celtics, struggling to get buckets in a 92-88 defeat that was the 14th of 16 straight wins for the Celtics. That game in Boston went down to the final minute but was ultimately decided by free throws, as Boston out-scored the Dubs 33-12 from the charity stripe.

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia
BOS: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, Jayson Tatum and Aron Baynes

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Kevin Durant (left foot soreness) is probable. Patrick McCaw (mid back strain) is questionable. Jordan Bell (left ankle inflammation) is out. Damian Jones, Quinn Cook and Chris Boucher are with the Santa Cruz Warriors. Team Notes
BOS: Al Horford is TBD. Marcus Smart (right hand laceration) and Gordon Hayward (left ankle rehab) are out. Team Notes

DISHING AND DIMING
Kevin Durant posted a triple-double on Thursday with 28 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. He’s now had double-digit assists in two consecutive games, marking the first time in his career that he’s achieved the feat. Durant, however, isn’t alone in racking up assist numbers. The team as a whole has had at least 30 assists in four of the last five games, including 40 and 37 helpers in their two victories this week. The Warriors have led the NBA in assists in each of the last three-plus seasons, and this year they average 4.5 more assists than the team with the second most (NOP 26.3 apg). In fact, the Warriors have had 150 games with at least 30 assists since the start of the 2014-15 season. In that time, no other team has had more than 50 such games.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW BOS
PTS: Curry (27.5) PTS: Irving (24.5)
REB: Green (7.8) REB: Horford (7.8)
AST: Green (7.4) AST: Horford (5.3)

BOSTON SCOUTING REPORT
Perhaps more than any other team, the Celtics have given the Warriors plenty of trouble over the last few years. They’ve won three of the last four head-to-head matchups, and those three wins are the most against the Warriors out of all Eastern Conference teams since the start of the 2014-15 season. Under Head Coach Brad Stevens, Boston has turned into an outstanding defensive team. They lead the NBA in opponent field goal percentage (43.3 percent) and their 98.3 points allowed per game are the second fewest in the league, behind only the San Antonio Spurs. Despite losing four of their last five game, the Cs still have a 1.5 game advantage in the Eastern Conference, and their .714 winning percentage is third in the NBA behind the Warriors and Rockets. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving leads the team with 24.5 points per game, and six of his teammates average at least nine points. The Celtics won ugly in this season’s first matchup with the Dubs, and they’ll certainly look to sludge it up again on Saturday.

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