Programming note: Warriors-Celtics coverage starts today at 2:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
For the second time in eight days, the Warriors are running into an Eastern Conference team that has struggled for most of this season but suddenly is showing signs of coming together.
The Warriors didn't do so well the last time, losing to the resurgent Pacers on Feb. 22 in Indiana.
The Warriors (45-11) this time face the Celtics, who responded to a 6-16 stretch by winning seven of their last 10 games and will be seeking their fourth consecutive win when they face the Warriors on Sunday at TD Garden in Boston.
The Celtics (23-33) have spent much of the season remaking their roster, with explosive guard Isaiah Thomas and forward Jae Crowder two of the notable in-season acquisitions. Both have been crucial to the improved recent play.
Warriors by 8.5
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Stephen Curry vs. Isaiah Thomas -- Among Celtics in-season acquisitions, only Bob McAdoo's 64 points in 1978-79 rank higher in franchise history than the 61 Thomas has scored in his first three games. Going back to his days in Sacramento, Thomas always gets fired up when facing Curry – though he can't dream of guarding him.
Klay Thompson vs. Avery Bradley -- Bradley has cranked up his scoring output, averaging 21 points per game since the All-Star break. Bradley could at times be assigned Curry, with Thompson sliding over to defend brawny rookie Marcus Smart. At the other end, the Celtics have no one who can contain Thompson's offense.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Remember, this is a business trip -- The Celtics are not at all fearsome. But the Warriors have come to realize they can lose to any team they don't take seriously.
2) Beat their bench -- With Jonas Jerebko and Thomas leading the way, Boston's bench has energetic and productive. The Warriors have to at least match their intensity. 3) Stay on the glass. The Warriors on Friday snapped a six-game streak in which they were outrebounded. A relapse against the Celtics could prove very costly.
Warriors 7-3, Celtics 7-3.
Warriors: No injuries listed.
Celtics: C Kelly Olynyk (right ankle sprain) and F Jared Sullinger (left metatarsal stress fracture) are listed as OUT.
Backup C Festus Ezeli is serving a one-game suspension for an altercation in Friday’s win at Toronto.
C Ognjen Kuzmic and F James Michael McAdoo are on assignment with the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
The Warriors have won the last three games and are seeking back-to-back season sweeps over the Celtics for the first time in franchise history. Immediately prior to the 2013-14 season, the Warriors had lost four of five.