Warriors close season with chance to clinch No. 6 seed

Warriors focused on locking down 6th seed

Warriors close season with chance to clinch No. 6 seed
April 17, 2013, 10:15 am
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Stephen Curry needs one three-pointer to tie Ray Allen's single-season record, two to claim it for his own. (AP)

Programming note: Warriors-Blazers coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Plus at 7:30 p.m. After the Giants game, it will also air on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live. Channel listings.

With a chance to clinch the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs Wednesday at Portland, Golden State is in a position unique to the franchise -- at least over the last two-plus decades.

Not since the 1986-87 season, when George Karl was the coach, have the Warriors won a game on the final day of the season to improve their seeding for the playoffs.

Coincidently, a win will likely result in a first-round series with Karl-coached Denver, which can lock up the No. 3 spot with a win at home Wednesday against Phoenix.

The win will be the primary focus for Golden State (46-35), but the game's historic appeal lies solely in the hands of Stephen Curry, who needs a pair of three-pointers to break Ray Allen's single-season. three-point record. Curry is 16 for his last 28 from deep and sits at 268 threes for the season.

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With the record the obvious elephant in the room, Curry downplayed it as much as possible following Golden State's win against San Antonio on Monday. Instead, he shifted the attention toward winning at Portland to secure the No. 6 seed.

"We know what the result will be if we play 48 minutes," he said. "It’ll be good for us to finish on a high note going into the playoffs. You don’t want to go up there and lose a game and think about that until the first round starts.”

Considering Denver has lost three three times at home this season, it'd be a surprise if the Nuggets didn't lock up the No. 3 seed, but it is possible. Should Phoenix pull the upset, Golden State wins at Portland and the Clippers win Sacramento, Golden State would play the Clippers in the first round.

If Golden State loses and Houston wins at the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston would take the No. 6 seed and the Warriors would play San Antonio.

There isn't a favorable matchup on the table for the Warriors, but with the way Curry has been shooting and the ability Klay Thompson has to get hot, the three-pointer could become the great equalizer.

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“That’s why we can be dangerous," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "It’s a tremendous weapon to have and it keeps you in the ballgame when you defend the way we are capable of defending. I also think it opens up the floor because you have to defend those guys all the way around the perimeter.”

Thompson ranks third in the NBA with 206 threes -- six behind Ryan Anderson -- and would have set the new franchise record, if not for Curry.

Golden State won both previous games against Portland (33-47) and is looking for its second sweep of the Trail Blazers in history. Portland has lost 12 straight.

Notes

- With 55 double-doubles, David Lee has eight more than Dwight Howard, who ranks second in the NBA. After being named the first Warriors all-star since 1997, Lee will also become the first Warrior to lead the NBA in double-doubles since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963-64.

- C Andrew Bogut (bone bruise, left ankle) and F Draymond Green (right knee tendinitis) are questionable.

- C Andris Biedrins (lower back tightness) did not travel with the team.

- G Scott Machado remains on assignment with Santa Cruz in the NBA D-League playoffs.

 

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