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NBA Preview: 24 games into season, Pelicans already facing Warriors for a third time

New Orleans tries to avoid another loss to Golden State — they’ve lost 19 of their last 20!!!

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For a third time this 2017-18 regular season, the New Orleans Pelicans take on the basketball playing Death Star that is the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors hold the season edge over New Orleans 2-0 though both wins were close and featured Golden State overcoming early deficits in the second half.

In New Orleans’ home opener, the Pelicans got off to a 17-6 lead and were up by as many as 15 points before watching a 64-61 halftime advantage flip on its head and turn into an 11-point deficit. Draymond Green received a technical foul and inadvertently sparked a 28-7 Warrior rally.

On the Pelicans trip to Oakland less than two weeks ago, New Orleans again got off to a commanding first quarter lead only to watch it slip away late. Kevin Durant was out for the game, Green got into early foul trouble, and Jrue Holiday and E’Twaun Moore combined for an early 25 points, but the game still went to the Warriors thanks to that Stephen Curry fella finding his shot after starting 0-10 from the field.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

What those two games featured was Anthony Davis and his immense presence. Davis has been ruled out for the game due to a left pelvic injury suffered in Utah on Friday night. Far be it from me to say New Orleans can’t beat Golden State without Davis — the Pelicans did score a surprising win in Portland without him after all, but this would be as surprising a win as possible should the Pelicans be able to protect home court.

The Pelicans will have to recreate the effort in Portland this past Saturday night to steal a game off the defending champions. DeMarcus Cousins will have to play like the All-NBA player he is and avoid getting in foul trouble like in the game at Oracle Arena; Jrue Holiday has to have a plus night offensively and defensively; the bench has to account for more than 10 points; and finally, if New Orleans can get up early on Golden State like in the first two games, they have to keep them down.

Easy enough, right?

Hey, at least Shaun Livingston is reportedly going to be rested. This, despite literally going head to head with a referee in the Warriors win last night against the Miami Heat.

Hehe, just trying to inject a little humor -- Livingston sitting this one out shouldn’t make a difference. Not when the Warriors recently proved they can beat the Pelicans without Durant.

Anyways, Geaux Pels!

What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors

Where: Smoothie King Center

When: December 4, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Central

How: FSNO, WRNO 99.5 FM