Warriors' key matchups down the stretch
Win and you're in
The Warriors are in the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings, on pace for their second playoff appearance in 19 seasons. Victory or defeat in these games will be the difference.
Warriors vs. Bulls -- March 15
The Warriors were no match for the Bulls in the teams' January matchup in Chicago. The teams meet again at Oracle in March, with the Bulls just a few games out of the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Expect the urgency to pick up as we enter the final month of the season.
Warriors vs. Knicks -- Feb. 27 & March 11
The Knicks are the current No. 2 seed in the East. They haven't faced the Warriors yet this season, but New York is 12-8 versus Western Conference opponents this year.
Warriors vs. Pacers -- Feb. 26
Golden State already beat the Pacers once this season, but that was in December. How much has changed since then? And what did Indiana learn from the defeat? The Pacers are among five teams within a handful of games of the No. 2 seed in the East.
Warriors vs. Thunder -- April 11
The April 11 matchup between the Warriors and Thunder will be the rubber match, with each squad having taken one game from the other so far. The Thunder may be in crunch mode fighting for the No. 2 seed with the Clippers and less than a week to go in the regular season.
Warriors vs. Lakers -- March 25 & April 12
Kobe Bryant promised the Lakers would get in the playoffs Thursday. The Warriors are only a few games in front of the final playoff spot in the West and the Lakers are just a handful behind. If the Lakers can beat the Warriors two more times, as they've already done this season, it could seriously impact the standings.
Warriors vs. Rockets -- March 8 & 17
The Rockets ran a NBA record-setting circus on the Warriors and defeated them twice in one week in February, but they're the No. 8 seed in the West. What would they give to avoid landing in Kobe's cross-hairs as the playoffs inch closer?
Warriors vs. Spurs -- Feb. 22, March 20 & April 15
The Dubs face the best team in the NBA three more times, starting Friday night. If they can beat San Antonio, which they haven't done this year, they should be able to climb the West standings.