He averaged 13.2 points and 5.3 assists as the fill-in starter when Curry missed six of the Warriors' first eight playoff games last season. Of course, Livingston might not need to shoulder as big of an offensive load Sunday: Kevin Durant is in the ...and more »
By Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle
Photo: Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle
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Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 in Oakland, Calif. Warriors won 144-98. less
Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston (34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 in ... more
Photo: Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle
Warriors vs. Trail Blazers
Time: 6 p.m.
Where: Moda Center; Portland, Ore.
Coaches: Steve Kerr, 3rd season with Warriors (180-31 with Warriors and overall); Terry Stotts, 5th season with Trail Blazers (203-173 with Trail Blazers and 318-341 overall)
On air: TV on CSN Bay Area, NBA TV; Radio on 95.7 The Game
Records: Warriors (40-7); Trail Blazers (21-27)
Projected starters: Warriors: PG Shaun Livingston (5.3 ppg, 1.7 apg), SG Klay Thompson (21.0 ppg, 1.9 apg), SF Kevin Durant (26.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg), PF Draymond Green (10.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 7.5 apg), C Zaza Pachulia (5.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
Trail Blazers: PG Damian Lillard (26.3 ppg, 5.8 apg), SG C.J. McCollum (23.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg), SF Evan Turner (9.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg), PF Noah Vonleh (3.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg), C Mason Plumlee (11.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
Warriors injury report: C David West (non-displaced fracture, left thumb) and PG Stephen Curry (stomach flu) are out.
Trail Blazers injury report: SF Maurice Harkless (left calf strain) is probable. PF Ed Davis (left wrist) and C Festus Ezeli (left knee) are out.
Betting line: Warriors by 8 points
Things to watch:
>> How will the Warriors handle Stephen Curryâ€™s absence? Fresh off Fridayâ€™s 43-point outburst against the Clippers, the two-time reigning NBA MVP is set to miss his first game of the season with the stomach flu. Replacing a player of Curryâ€™s caliber is not easy, sure, but no team is better equipped for such a task than Golden State. With Curry sidelined, Shaun Livingston figures to make his first start of the season. He averaged 13.2 points and 5.3 assists as the fill-in starter when Curry missed six of the Warriorsâ€™ first eight playoff games last season. Of course, Livingston might not need to shoulder as big of an offensive load Sunday: Kevin Durant is in the fold these days.
>> Will Golden State limit Damian Lillard? This is always an important question when the Warriors face Portland, because Lillard â€” an Oakland High alum â€” tends to have big games against his hometown team. Lillard has averaged 30.8 points over his past eight outings against Golden State. Still, the Blazers will need more than a Herculean effort from their best player to top the Warriors. Portland has dropped five straight regular-season games to Golden State.
Can the Blazersâ€™ defense keep things manageable? An inability to limit opponents has left Portland, one of the leagueâ€™s feel-good storylines last season, vying for a No. 8 playoff seed. In three games against the Warriors, Portland has given up a combined 387 points on 55.1 percent shooting. Its 45-point loss at Oracle Arena on Dec. 17 was the largest margin of defeat for any team in the NBA this season at the time. By trapping a lot on pick-and-rolls, the Blazers have made defensive strides in recent weeks. Still, that blueprint might not be so effective against a Golden State team that subsists on ball movement.
Quotable: â€œThere are going to be games where Kevin (Durant) gets 25 shots and then games where he gets 11. The beautiful thing about Kevin is that he genuinely does not care. He just wants to be part of something great.â€ - Steve Kerr
Connor Letourneau is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @Con_Chron
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