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New Orleans Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) goes for a layup against Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first half of an NBA game at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, La., Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.

Advocate staff photo by MAX BECHERER
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Unlike Golden State's 128-120 win against New Orleans on Oct. 20, the Warriors will be without one of their many All-Stars for Saturday's 7:30 p.m. tipoff versus the Pelicans at Oracle Arena.

All-NBA forward Kevin Durant, who contributed 22 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks in the teams' first meeting, was officially ruled out for Saturday's game because of a sprained left ankle, Golden State announced hours before tipoff.

Durant will miss his third of Golden State’s past four games with Saturday's absence. Warriors reserve forward Omri Casspi started in place of Durant during his other two absences this week and is projected to start Saturday versus the Pelicans. Andre Iguodala, another option to fill Durant’s stead, is listed as probable against New Orleans with a sore left knee.

The Warriors super trio of Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 83 total points at the Smoothie King Center.

Omer Asik's debut vs. Suns

Riddled with an injury for the better part of the past year, Pelicans center Omer Asik made his season debut Friday against the Phoenix Suns, scoring six points in 11 minutes.

Asik logged almost 11 minutes at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, marking his longest outing since playing 15 minutes on Dec. 20, 2016.

Asik's debut was his first game action since Feb. 10, 2017. He took months to battle a gastrointestinal infection, an ailment the Pelicans used Crohn's disease-like treatment to rehab, which caused the 7-footer from Turkey to lose roughly 30 pounds.

"He looked good," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters after Saturday's game, according to the team's official website. "Obviously he’s got a ways to go to get his basketball legs under him, but he did fine when he was out there."

This article originally ran on theadvocate.com.

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