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At this point in the season, Warriors coach Mark Jackson has a simple way of deciding which games his team should win -- he looks at the standings.
If Golden State has a better record than its' opponent, it's a game the Warriors should win. If not, the expectation isn't necesarrily the same.
Their recent 2-1 road trip, which included wins against Houston and New Orleans, but a loss to San Antonio, was a perfect example.
“Beat the teams we were supposed to beat and lost to the team that's the No. 1 team in the West in their building,” he said. “I thought it was a successful trip and now the point is let's go home and take care of business. You got to build on it.”
Golden State (39-31) opens a five-game home stand Saturday against lowly Washington (25-43), but the Wizards have improved as the season has gone along. They're coming off a 103-100 win at the Lakers on Friday and have won five of six. Since starting the year 11-35, Washington has won 14 of its last 22 games.
The Warriors won the first meeting between the teams this season, 101-97, in Washington on Dec. 8. John Wall leads the team in scoring at 16.0 points per game.
In Friday's win in Los Angeles, Washington overcame an 18-point second-half deficit to ruin the return of Kobe Bryant and Pau Pasol to the Lakers' lineup. It was a result that benefitted the Warriors, keeping them three games in front of Los Angeles in the Western Conference standings.
With 12 games left in the regular season, Golden State holds an important half-game edge over Houston for the No. 6 spot. Nine of those games are at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors are 22-10 on the year.
As the Warriors round into playoff shape, they've seen an uptick in production from center Andrew Bogut. He had 32 rebounds on the recent three-game road trip and, more importantly, played 30 minutes or more in each game.
Bogut isn't happy with where his game is at on the low post, but there's no denying his impact as a passer and on the defensive end. He has 12 blocks in the past five games, which doesn't begin to take into account the amount of shots he's altered inside.
The Aussie's emergence has allowed rookie center Festus Ezeli to settle into an more suitable backup role, which has resulted in more productive minutes from him too.