OAKLAND -- After moving back to the top of the NBA heap, the Warriors on Thursday face their toughest test in recent weeks.
The Pelicans, featuring MVP candidate Anthony Davis, visit Oracle Arena and represent an imposing obstacle to the Warriors' quest to tie a franchise-record 11 consecutive wins.
The Warriors (15-2) own the league's best record, while the Pelicans (8-8) are coming off an eight-point win over the Thunder Tuesday night in New Orleans.
[RELATED: NBA standings]
Warriors by 7.5
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
Draymond Green vs. Anthony Davis -- Davis, the otherworldly 21-year-old, is balling beyond even unreasonable expectations. The Unibrow leads the league in Player Efficiency Rating and it's not close. Green, despite a sprained thumb, is willing to scrap all day. Still, he will need help for this assignment.
Klay Thompson vs. Tyreke Evans -- Evans always has been an imposing slasher, but also has improved his outside shot; two nights ago against the Thunder, he dropped 30 -- including 15 in a row in the fourth quarter. Thompson presents his own challenges, though, and Reke doesn't defend as well as Klay.
KEYS TO VICTORY:
1) Shave the 'brow -- Davis, who leads the league in blocks (3.06 per game) and ranks fourth in scoring (24.9), can take command at either end. The Warriors are in trouble if he does.
2) Slay 'em with treys -- The Pelicans' perimeter defense is vulnerable. With Stephen Curry and Thompson leading the way, the Warriors have the ability to rain 3-pointers over any defense.
3) Protect the paint -- With 3-point specialist Ryan Anderson the notable exception, the Pelicans are built to bruise. They'd rather drive than launch. Direct them to Andrew Bogut.
Warriors -- F David Lee (strained left hamstring) is listed as out.
Pelicans -- G Eric Gordon (left shoulder subluxation) is listed as out.
As a result of a three-game sweep last season, the Warriors have never lost to the Pelicans, who are in their second season of existence. The Warriors have won seven in a row overall, including the last four meetings when the team was known as the New Orleans Hornets.