|Pelicans stay on road to face Warriors|
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The New Orleans Pelicans will put their three-game winning streak on the line Saturday night when they visit a team they haven't beaten in their last eight tries.
The Golden State Warriors and the Pelicans will be playing their second game in two nights. Each is coming off a win on Friday.
The Pelicans opened a two-night road sequence with a comfortable 115-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The Warriors, meanwhile, took care of business at home against the Chicago Bulls, tipping off a four-day, three-game homestand with a 143-94 blowout.
All of the stars shined brightly when the clubs met earlier this season in New Orleans. Klay Thompson had 31 points, Stephen Curry 28 and Kevin Durant 22 in Golden State's 128-120 victory.
The Pelicans came up short despite getting 35-point nights from Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins.
The Pelicans' big men dominated the Suns on Friday night, and did so in a manner that allowed them to conserve energy for second half of the back-to-back.
Cousins had a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double in 30 minutes, and Davis needed just 26 minutes to contribute 23 points and nine rebounds.
The key to being able to rest his starters, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry noted after the game, was a fast start. New Orleans led by double figures (25-15) before the game was nine minutes old.
"The best thing was that we started the game the right way," Gentry observed. "I thought for the most part we moved the basketball, we took advantage of what they gave us and we managed the turnovers, which has gotten us in trouble."
The Warriors will be seeing the Pelicans for the first time since Rajon Rondo joined the lineup on Nov. 13 against Atlanta. He missed the first 13 games of the season, including the Oct. 20 loss to Golden State, while recuperating from core muscle surgery.
The Pelicans have gone 4-2 since Rondo's season debut.
The Warriors were without Durant and Draymond Green in their runaway win over the Bulls on Friday night. Curry took up the slack with 33 points, including 26 in the second quarter when he single-handedly outscored Chicago by five points.
While Durant, who has been in and out of the lineup the past week because of a sprained ankle, remains doubtful for Saturday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted that Green's absence Friday was a scheduled night off.
"It's something I'm going to do periodically during the year," Kerr said of resting Green. "Last year, I thought during the (NBA) Finals there were games where Draymond, we were almost piecing him together. Because of how hard he plays and because the nature of his game, we just need to give him a rest once in a while. I planned this one a week ago."
Omri Casspi and rookie Jordan Bell replaced Durant and Green in the starting lineup and contributed a combined 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to the win.
Bell tied the Warriors' rookie record with six blocked shots in his first NBA start.