Birthday boy Curry lines up Pelicans

Birthday boy Curry lines up Pelicans

Golden State could be losing its cloak of invincibility, but the drive for 73 wins remains very much alive.

The Warriors improved to 59-6 with Saturday’s surprisingly arduous 123-116 victory over the middling Suns. Tonight, Steve Kerr’s club hosts another Western Conference underachiever in New Orleans.

Oddsmakers at online sports book Bovada.lv have installed Golden State as a 15-point favorite against the Pelicans, whose playoff appearance last April suddenly seems like a century ago.

An injury-plagued campaign has relegated Alvin Gentry’s team to a 24-41 record, with superstar Anthony Davis among the few to stay above water. The two-time All-Star posted his sixth straight double-double over the weekend and is scoring 24.4 points per game – the exact figure he averaged in 2014-15.

Buckets obviously never present a problem for the Warriors, even though top reserve Andre Iguodala now stands to miss at least two weeks due to a sprained left ankle. Shaun Livingston and Brandon Rush should see significantly more action in the former Olympian’s absence.

While Iguodala’s absence doesn’t create a total rotation kerfuffle, Kerr may take a minute to get a handle on the new minutes distribution. Neither Livingston nor Rush played a full two quarters in any of the previous week’s contests.

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If ever in doubt, though, simply consult No. 30. Stephen Curry amassed 15 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter as Golden State rallied to down Phoenix. He’s also aware that fellow West behemoth San Antonio beat Oklahoma City several nights ago, making it imperative that the Warriors record home victory No. 49 in a row.

There’s extra incentive this evening, too, in the form of Curry’s 28th birthday. He’ll put on the expected show, but the over/under total of 229.5 points seems incredible steep.

MONDAY NBA FREE PICK: WARRIORS/PELICANS UNDER 229.5 POINTS

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