Monte Poole

NBA Gameday: Three goals for JaVale McGee against DeMarcus Cousins

NBA Gameday: Three goals for JaVale McGee against DeMarcus Cousins

Programming note: Warriors-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- It’s not often that the Warriors feel they have something to prove, but there will be at least a measure of pride on the line Wednesday night.

Eleven days after a shocking loss in Sacramento, the Warriors take the floor at Oracle Arena trying to avoid their first two-game losing streak to the Kings since 2011.

The Warriors (46-9), coming off a stunning 22-point loss at Denver, are looking to extend to 142 their NBA record streak of games without consecutive losses; no other team has reached 100. They’re 23-3 this season at home, where they average 122.3 points per game.

The Kings (24-32) are on their second four-game win streak this season. Can they make it five? They’ve had two five-game win streaks over the last 10 years.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 18

MATCHUP TO WATCH

JaVale McGee vs. DeMarcus Cousins: Cousins is a load under any circumstances, but he has been terrific lately, with 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists Tuesday night against the Lakers in LA. With the Warriors’ top two centers out, McGee has three goals: 1) Stay out of foul trouble; 2) Make Boogie work on defense; and 3) Do not let Cousins dominate the paint. The Warriors are fine with Cousins launching threes, but if he does damage inside and gets to the foul line, it could be trouble.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: Klay Thompson (R heel soreness) is listed as probable. C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Kings: G Ty Lawson (L adductor strain) is listed as questionable. F Omri Casspi (R plantaris tendon strain), F Rudy Gay (L Achilles tear) and G Garrett Temple (L hamstring, partial tear) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Kings: 6-4.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won two of three meetings this season and 13 of the last 14 overall. They have won the last six games, and 17 of the last 20, in Oakland.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE REVENGE FACTOR: The Warriors hate to lose, but they hate it even more when beaten by a team they routinely dominate. Having lost to the Kings for the first time in nearly four years, they’ll be out to reestablish their superiority.

THE GLASS WARS: The Kings are a notoriously poor rebounding team; they rank 29th this season. The Warriors, largely through team effort, have become a good rebounding squad. After losing the glass battle 52-27 to the Nuggets, they’ll make a conscious effort to own it.

THE PACE GAME: Knowing the Kings (27th in pace) are not built to run, the Warriors (second) likely will push tempo at every opportunity. Given their relatively thin post defense, that may be the best way to grind down the effectiveness of Cousins.

Warriors won’t win 73, but how about 70?

Warriors won’t win 73, but how about 70?

So, the number 73 will live for at least another year in the NBA record book.

By losing Monday night in Denver, 132-120, to the Nuggets, the Warriors dropped to 46-9, mathematically eliminating any chance to break their NBA record of 73 wins, set last season. They’d have to go 27-0 to tie it, and that’s not happening.

Though they had not spent a split-second thinking about it, the Warriors could not have anticipated that a sub-.500 team, as the Nuggets are, would get in the way of much of anything in the regular season.

But it happens. There is such a thing as a “trap game” If conditions are right, it may happen again.

The road to 70, however, remains open. To get there, the Warriors would have to go 24-3 over the remainder of the regular season. Is it probable? Is there even a possibility? Or is it beyond realistic?

Here is a look at the five most dangerous games over the final two months:

Feb. 28 at Washington. There is value in it being a homecoming game for Kevin Durant. But it’s second night of a back-to-back set for the Warriors, and their third game in four nights. The Wizards, who started 16-18, have won 17 of their last 20 games and are 24-7 at home.

March 8 vs. Boston. It’s the first game back at Oracle Arena after a nine-day road trip. It’s against a Celtics team that is breathing down the necks of defending champion Cleveland, which has Boston is exploring trade options. If the Celtics bring in an impact player, look out.

March 11 at San Antonio. It’s the second night of a back-to-back set and, again, the third game in four nights. It’s the Spurs. Nothing more needs to be said.

March 28 at Houston. There is a revenge factor, as the Rockets are one of three teams to win in Oakland this season. They also happen to be one of the few teams capable of scoring with the Warriors.

March 29 at San Antonio. It’s the Spurs, once again on the second night of a back-to-back set, this one after a particularly challenging night in Houston. Oh, it’s also the third game in four nights. The Warriors haven’t swept the Spurs in San Antonio since 1996-97 -- the year David Robinson missed 76 games, and before the arrival of Tim Duncan.

If the Warriors manage to win three of those five games, they have a decent chance of getting to 70. If they win four, there is an excellent chance, as six of their last seven games are at home, with the only roadie at Phoenix.

Reaching 70 is a tall task indeed, but assuming they avoid any more surprise losses — such as those against the Lakers, the Heat, the Kings and, now, the Nuggets -- getting there is absolutely within the Warriors’ scope of achievement.

Instant Replay: Warriors can't cool off red-hot, record-tying Nuggets in loss

Instant Replay: Warriors can't cool off red-hot, record-tying Nuggets in loss

BOX SCORE

The shorthanded Warriors rolled into the thin air of Denver Monday night and were vaporized by the no less compromised Nuggets.

After back-to-back emotional wins at Memphis and Oklahoma City, the Warriors showed little life at either end in a 132-110 loss at Pepsi Center.

The Warriors (46-9) were exploited by Denver’s hot shooting from deep, as the Nuggets drained 24 3-pointers, tying an NBA record. Their 79 points in the first half were the most scored in any half against the Warriors this season.

Kevin Durant scored 25 points to lead five Warriors scoring in double figures. Ian Clark totaled 18 points, Pat McCaw, starting in place of injured Klay Thompson, put in career-high 17points. Andre Iguodala tossed in 12 points and Stephen Curry added 11.

How bad was it for the Warriors? Draymond Green grabbed two rebounds in 24 minutes and Curry missed 14 of his 18 shots from the field.

Forward Juancho Hernangomez scored a game-high 27 points to lead Denver, which shot 54.5 percent from the field -- and 60 percent (24-of-40) beyond the arc.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Nobody showed better than McCaw, whose fourth quarter nearly brought the Warriors back from the abyss.

McCaw’s line: 17 points (7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 1-of-5 from deep, and 2-of-2 from the line), two assists and one rebound. He played a season-high 35 minutes, finishing minus-22.

TURNING POINT

After trailing by as much as 15 in the first quarter, the Warriors pulled within eight (42-34) with 11:19 left in the second quarter -- only to have the Nuggets respond with an 8-0 run for a 16-point lead (50-34) with 9:14 left in the half.

The Warriors, who trailed by as much as 27 before halftime, rallied to get within nine in the fourth quarter (109-100, 7:29 remaining) but could not close the gap.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (personal), C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain), G Klay Thompson (R heel soreness) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) were listed as out.

Nuggets: F Wilson Chandler (illness) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. G Emmanuel Mudiay (low back pain) was listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff. F Darrell Arthur (L knee soreness), F Kenneth Faried (R ankle sprain) and F Danilo Gallinari (L groin strain) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to the Bay Area, where on Wednesday night they will play host to the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.