NEW ORLEANS -- After touching down in New Orleans around 5 p.m. Thursday, the Warriors went directly to Smoothie King Center and practiced for about 90 minutes, after which they began bracing themselves for what's ahead Friday night.
"We know they're going to come out and play extremely hard," Kevin Durant said of the Pelicans' approach to Game 3. "Everybody on that court knows what basketball is all about, and no matter the venue you're in you've still got to play your game."
With a 2-0 lead over the Pelicans in this best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series, the Warriors are halfway to winning the series. Yet they also a poor Game 3 could change the temperature of the series.
"The biggest thing for us is we've got to come in understanding the frenzy we're going to face with this crowd," coach Steve Kerr said. "New Orleans had 39 fast-break points on our home floor in Game 2, so they're coming after us.
"So we've got to be ready for that force. It's the way they play anyway, but especially being down 2-0 and coming back to their fans."
The Warriors also have their own force. Draymond Green. He enjoys playing the role of villain on the road, and given his audacious demonstrations in the first two games -- most notably screaming into the face of Nikola Mirotic, jawing with Rajon Rondo and tangling with Anthony Davis on the floor -- his ears may be filled with noise, much of it unprintable.
"He's locked in right now, and we're locked in as a team," Stephen Curry said. "When he comes to dealing with road environments in the playoffs, we've been in a lot of crazy places and won a lot of games.
"So we've just got to use experience and understand that it is going to be a tough game because they're going to come with everything they've got to get their crowd into it and to try to gain some type of momentum early. And we've got to be ready for it."