Game Preview: Warriors at Pelicans – 4/10/22

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REGULAR SEASON FINALS
The Warriors wrap up their regular season schedule Sunday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. The two teams have shared the season streak so far, with the Pelicans winning the most recent game, 101-96, on Jan. 6. The Dubs were without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for that game, and a 21-pointer on the night from Andrew Wiggins wasn’t enough to lift the Dubs over the hump in that loss. Both teams have received offensive firepower since their last meeting, as Klay Thompson has scored more than 30 points in each of his last two games and New Orleans’ CJ McCollum has averaged 25.6 points since being acquired by the Pelicans at the trade deadline.

SEEDS AND MATCHUPS FOR THE PLAYOFFS YET TO BE DECIDED
The first and second seeds are locked in the West, as is the seed in the Play-In Tournament, but third through sixth will ultimately be decided on this final day of the NBA regular season. The Warriors enter the day in third place, one game ahead of the Mavericks. However, Dallas has the tiebreaker advantage with the Warriors and would get the third seed if they win on Sunday and the Warriors lose. Likewise, the Warriors can get the third seed if they win or if the Mavericks lose to the Spurs.

The Warriors and Mavericks will face Denver or Utah in the first round of the playoffs. The Jazz and Nuggets both enter Sunday’s regular season finale with matching records of 48-33, and if they both had the same result on Sunday, Utah would take the tiebreaker due of their head-to-head record with Denver.

LAST TIME OUT
Jonathan Kuminga and Jordan Poole each scored 18 points and Draymond Green came within two assists of a triple-double as the Warriors held off a late comeback attempt from Spurs in Saturday’s 100-94 victory at San Antonio. » Complete recap of the game

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

GSW NOPE
52-29 36-45
3rd from the west 9th West
PTS: 110.8 (15th) PTS: 109.3 (21st)
REC: 45.5 (7th) REC: 45.2 (10th)
ASD: 27.0 (5th) ASD: 25.0 (13th)

PREVIOUS GAME BEGINNERS

GSW: Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney

NOPE : Devonte’ Graham, CJ McCollum, Herbert Jones, Jonas Valanciunas and Jaxson Hayes

INJURY NOTES AND LIST

GSW: Stephen Curry (left foot sprain) and James Wiseman (right knee injury management) are absent. Team notes

NOPE : To be determined. Team Notes

LOONEY FROM IRON MAN
Kevon Looney is scheduled to play his 82nd game of the season on Sunday, becoming the first Warriors player since Harrison Barnes in 2014-15 to play in all 82 regular season games. As of April 7, 602 players have taken to the field in the 2021-22 season, but Looney is one of only five players in the league to appear in every game for his team. It is the second time in Looney’s career that he has led the Dubs in games played, leading the club in 2018-19 (80 games). Looney is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game, a career high this season. His 12 offensive rebounds on Nov. 10 against the Minnesota Timberwolves were the most in a game by any player this season and the most by a Warriors player since Erick Dampier in 2004.

TEAM LEADERS

GSW NOPE
PTS: Curry (25.5) PTS: McCollum (25.2)
REC: Green (7.4) CER: Valanciunas (11.4)
AST: Green (7.0) AST: McCollum (6.0)

NEW ORLEANS SCOUTING REPORT
The Pelicans enter Sunday’s regular season finale with ninth place in the West locked in, which means they will host their first game in the Play-In tournament. This will mark New Orleans’ first post-regular season basketball since 2018, and they’ll enter it on a late-season streak after winning five of their last six games heading into Saturday’s loss at Memphis. Guard CJ McCollum has put up big numbers since being acquired by the Pelicans two months ago, averaging 25.6 points while shooting 50% from the floor and 40% at three with his new team. Brandon Ingram leads the team in points but hasn’t played the past two games due to hamstring strain. Injuries have defined the Pelicans’ season so far, as Zion Williamson hasn’t played all season due to a foot injury. Without their superstar, center Jonas Valanciunas has become one of the league’s best rebounders and an offensive force that averages nearly 18 points per game.

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