Gameday: It's the Warriors Big Men Vs DeMarcus Cousins

UPDATE (3:39pm PT on Monday): Starting center Zaza Pachulia has been ruled out with left shoulder soreness, head coach Steve Kerr announced before the game.


The Warriors have played four back-to-back sets this season, and the Pelicans have been involved in two. Make that three when the teams meet Monday night in New Orleans.

Coming off a rout of the Heat on Sunday night in Miami, the Warriors (18-6) are aiming for their fourth consecutive win on the road trip. They are 3-1 on the second half of back-to-back sets.

The Pelicans (12-11) believe they will be in the Western Conference playoff race and they'll enter this game in the No. 8 spot in the standings. New Orleans, which has lost three of its last four, will be without All-Star forward Anthony Davis.


Warriors by 9.5


Warriors Big Men vs. DeMarcus Cousins: Zaza Pachulia and his tag-team partners were decisive winners nine days ago, when Boogie committed five fouls and six turnovers along with 15 points and seven rebounds. Pachulia's physicality along with the clever tactics of Draymond Green and David West made Cousins a prisoner of his own emotions. Even if Pachulia can't play, the Warriors will employ the same plan. With Davis out, Cousins is essential. Can he keep calm and produce?


Warriors: G Stephen Curry (R hand contusion) and F Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) are listed as probable. G Shaun Livingston (rest) and C Zaza Pachulia (L shoulder soreness) are listed as questionable. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Pelicans: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee injury), F Anthony Davis (L adductor strain), F Solomon Hill (L hamstring tear) and G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) are listed as out.


Warriors: 7-3. Pelicans: 5-5.


Derrick Stafford (crew chief), Matt Boland and JT Orr.


The Warriors won the first two meetings this season, 128-120 on Oct. 20 at New Orleans and 110-95 on Nov. 25 in Oakland. The Warriors have won the last nine in a row and 19 of the last 20 overall, and 11 of the last 12 in New Orleans.


THE LANES, THE LANES: The Pelicans, with point guard Rajon Rondo leading the way, are embracing the free-flowing ball-movement concepts of coach Alvin Gentry. They rank second to the Warriors in assists and seventh in pace (the Warriors are fifth). New Orleans is susceptible to turnovers, and the Warriors at their best excel in creating them. They'll have eyes on the passing lanes at all times.

RUN, RUN, RUN: Even on the second night of a back-to-back set, the Warriors will want to run at every opportunity. Though the Pelicans have improved several aspects of their defense, they still surrender more fast-break points than all but four teams. The Warriors specialize in this category, leading the NBA by a wide margin with 22.4 fast-break points per game.

STEPH 2K: Stephen Curry needs five 3-pointers to become the eighth player to reach the 2,000 mark for his career. He's shooting 11-of-26 from deep (42.3 percent) on the road trip. Moreover, some of his best long-distance exhibitions have occurred against the Pelicans, including the NBA single-game record of 13 last season. He dropped eight triples in his 53-point game at New Orleans on Oct. 31, 2015.

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