Warriors nearly five-point favorites in Game 3; all eyes on Draymond vs Davis

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NEW ORLEANS -- Stephen Curry will be in the starting lineup for the first time in six weeks when the Warriors face the Pelicans on Friday in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals at Smoothie King Center.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 3pm with Warriors Outsiders, with postgame coverage immediately after the final horn.

Holding a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, the Warriors expect to get a spirited effort from the Pelicans on their home court. A win by the Warriors would give them a virtual lock on the series, while a loss would pump new life into New Orleans.

Teams taking a 3-0 lead in a seven-game series have never lost, going 128-0.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 4.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green vs. Anthony Davis: Green has been most dominating player on the floor in Games 1 and 2, and if that continues the Pelicans won’t be able to overcome it. Green has been, in the words of coach Steve Kerr, “guarding everybody,” and that includes Davis. There is no question Davis will be more aggressive, and he’ll have to be both efficient and productive to give New Orleans a chance.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: 'Playoff Draymond' is a very real thing]

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Pat McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) is listed as out.

Pelicans: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee injury), DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles rupture) and G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) are listed as out.

GAME OFFICIALS

Scott Foster (crew chief), Mark Ayotte, Eric Lewis, Sean Corbin (alternate)

SERIES HISTORY

Game 1: Warriors 123, Pelicans 101. Game 2: Warriors 121, Pelicans 116

The Warriors defeated New Orleans in three of four meetings during the regular season and are 13-2 against the Pelicans in the regular season in the Steve Kerr era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE CROWD EFFECT: Smoothie King Center is not known as an imposing home court, but local fans began rallying around the Pelicans during their impressive playoff push. The noise continued in the first-round series sweep of Portland. The Warriors will have an opportunity to do something the love: silence a road crowd.

THE WHISTLES: Much was made about the discrepancy in free throws in Games 1 and 2 at Oracle Arena, with the Warriors building a 60-20 advantage. The change of venue could have an impact, as could the chatter on the subject. Either way, expect that gap to shrink.

THE D: New Orleans is determined to play fast, but the approach has played into the hands of the Warriors. With a 99.2 defensive rating in Games 1 and 2, they’ve made the Pelicans feel their presence while also doing enough to average 122 points and post a 111.9 offensive rating at home. How well will the defense travel?

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