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Game 5 Preview: Warriors vs. Pelicans - 5/8/18

CHANCE TO ADVANCE
After winning Game 4, the Warriors will attempt to close out the series with New Orleans when they host the Pelicans at Oracle Arena in Game 5 on Tuesday night. With a victory, Golden State would advance to the Western Conference Finals for the fourth-straight year, whereas a Pelicans win would force a Game 6 back in New Orleans. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Watch the action on TNT, or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game, the Warriors Mobile App and the Warriors Radio Network. FIND TICKETS

LAST TIME OUT
Kevin Durant scored a 2018 postseason-high 38 points to pace the Warriors to a 118-92 Game 4 win in New Orleans on Sunday. Full Recap


MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

Playoff Ranks
GSW NOP
58-24 48-34
2nd in West 6th in West
PTS: 110.0 (2nd) PTS: 110.8 (1st)
REB: 48.0 (2nd) REB: 45.8 (3rd)
AST: 28.1 (1st) AST: 27.0 (2nd)

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green
NOP: Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday, E'Twaun Moore, Nikola Mirotic and Anthony Davis

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Patrick McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) is out. Team Notes
NOP: Alexis Ajinca (right knee injury), DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles rupture) and Frank Jackson (right foot fracture) are out. Team Notes

SECRET WEAPON
Steve Kerr went with a different starting lineup for the third consecutive game in Game 4 on Sunday, inserting Andre Iguodala alongside the Warriors’ All-Star foursome of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. While that group has played a crucial role in multiple championship runs, never once before Sunday had they started a game together. The decision paid off immediately, as the Dubs raced out to a double-digit lead within the first four minutes. Not only were they converting shots at a high clip, they also hounded the Pelicans on the defensive end, forcing New Orleans to miss eight of their first 10 shots. Over the course of the entire game, they held the Pelicans to 29.0 percent shooting from the field, while outscoring New Orleans by 26 points over 18 minutes on the court. The margin of victory on Sunday? Precisely 26 points. "There's a good chance I'll start these same five guys on Tuesday," said Kerr following the win. If that’s the case and they’re able to be equally effective, that could spell the end of the Pelicans’ postseason run.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW NOP
PTS: Durant (28.4) PTS: Davis (29.6)
REB: Green (11.2) REB: Davis (12.8)
AST: Green (9.0) AST: Rondo (12.9)

BEYOND THE ARC
The Warriors were the better three-point shooting team on Sunday, maintaining a streak in which the more proficient team from beyond the arc has prevailed in every game of the series thus far. While Golden State’s 11 makes and 33.3 percent shooting from three-point range may not jump off the page, they dwarfed New Orleans’ four makes on 26 attempts (.154). Klay Thompson was the only Warriors’ starter to not make multiple treys, and while one would naturally expect he, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant to be doing the majority of Golden State’s damage from beyond the arc, both Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala have been getting in on the act as well. Green made two of his four attempts on Sunday and is now 7-of-15 (.467) in the series, while Iguodala went 2-of-5 in Game 4 to improve to 4-of-11 (.364) in the series. For the playoffs as a whole, Green and Iguodala are converting three-pointers at 34.9 percent and 39.3 percent clips, respectively. With opposing defenses attempting to funnel shots away from Curry, Durant and Thompson, both Green and Iguodala are going to be two of the biggest beneficiaries in terms of additional shot attempts, and if they’re able to maintain their current pace, it doesn’t leave many options for those defenses to turn to. If the Pelicans are going to survive another day and extend this series, chances are they’re going to have to be more competitive from beyond the three-point line in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

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