Consecutive victories against Dallas and the L.A. Clippershave the Warriors upward trending these days, and they get a chance to keep itgoing Tuesday against the Kings in Sacramento.Although the Warriors remain in 13th place in theWestern Conference, they are only three games behind the Houston Rockets, whocurrently hold the eighth and final playoff spot.The Warriors are one of four teams in the playoff chase with21 losses. The Warriors (17-21) have played just 38 games, the fewest of anyteam in the NBA.The Kings are in Game 4 of a nine-game homestand and so farhave won two of three. Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors playthe Kings on Tuesday: Tyreke at 3: Kings coach Keith Smart hasbeen playing Tyreke Evans at small forward in recent weeks, allowing IsaiahThomas and Marcus Thornton to handle the backcourt duties.Evans has played mostly point guard and some two guard inhis two-plus seasons in the league. How the Warriors match up will likely bedetermined by who starts for them.Currys status: Its unclear what thestrategy is with point guard Stephen Curry and his troublesome footankle, butone thing that seems certain is Curry is unlikely to play big minutes.And that doesnt matter if he starts or not.Curry hasnt played more than 24 minutes in a game in morethan three weeks, and he played just nine minutes against the Clippers onSunday.Currys availability and whether he starts if he does play is something coach Mark Jackson hasnt been announcing till just beforetip-off. When Curry hasnt been starting, Jackson has gone with DominicMcGuire.High-scoring twos: Monta Ellis and MarcusThornton are each capable of having big scoring games. Whichever player has thebetter, more efficient shooting night will go a long way toward determiningwhich team wins.Continue road effort: The road has longbeen a killer for the Warriors, but they have been successful away from Oraclein recent weeks. In their past seven away games, the Warriors are 4-3.The teams have split two games this season, with each teamwinning on its own home court.
OAKLAND -- David West is as much a cleanup man as he is a basketball player.
The veteran power forward, masquerading as a center for the Warriors, cleans up behind teammates, cleans the clocks of opponents and probably cleans his plate after every meal. And he’d hit fourth in any baseball manager’s batting order.
The Warriors during their renaissance haven’t had such a personality. They’ve been a fun bunch, enjoying life, each other and their pillaging of the NBA.
West, 36, brings a more laconic dynamic, and it’s on full display as the Warriors lean into the final weeks of this regular season. He’s a leader who is producing and, more and more, winning over a fan base that was somewhat skeptical early this season.
“David West has been playing brilliantly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday night, after West came off the bench for a highly efficient 14-minute stint in a 114-100 win over the Kings.
Showcasing sharp passing, splendid shooting, solid rim protection and his usual old-jerky toughness, West totaled 8 points, four assists, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal. The Warriors were plus-8 when he was on the floor.
Such production, it seems, is a bit of a bonus.
“He’s been very good for us as a veteran leader,” Draymond Green said. “He’s been playing well, but just his presence also has meant a lot to this team.
“D-West is just kind of a no-bull---- type of a guy. He doesn’t say much. But when he does, you know it means a lot. And everybody hears him.”
Said West: “It’s just about adjusting and learning personalities. Obviously, this group has been very successful. I just try to add my 2 cents where I feel like it fits. Try not to over-talk people. I speak to guys directly and just make sure that we’re all on the same page.”
West is in his 14th season. Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2003, he also has played for the Pacers and, last season, the Spurs, before joining the Warriors in July.
The question at the time was whether he still had a lot to give. West is a two-time All-Star and one of the most widely respected players in the league. But did he still have the legs to compete at a high level?
The answer is visible, particularly over the past month, since he returned from fractured left thumb on Feb. 23. West is shooting 53.0 percent from the field, he’s rebounding consistently and he has proven to be a spectacularly good passer -- easily one of the best in the league among big men.
Earlier this week, to quell any lingering concerns about how much athleticism he still has, West rose up and dunked over a crowd of three Dallas Mavericks. It was clock-cleaning at its finest.
“I’m just getting more comfortable,” West said, referring to his game and his locker-room influence. “We’ve developed good chemistry, communicating, harping on our defense more than anything else at this moment, because we feel that’s going to give us a chance if shots aren’t falling.”
West is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, $1.55 million. He sacrificed bigger dollars for a chance at his first championship. He’s doing his part. And he neither takes nor leaves any mess.
For the 44th time in the 2016-17 season, the Warriors dished out 30-plus assists in one game. Not only does that set a franchise record, Golden State is also the first to do so since one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
On a Steph Curry heave down the court that resulted in an Andre Iguodala running reverse dunk with 38 seconds left in the third quarter, the Warriors made history with their 31st assist of the game. The nifty assist made the Warriors the first team since the 1985-86 Showtime Lakers to hand out more than 30 assists 44 times in one season.
Last season, when the Warriors set an NBA record record with 73 wins, the team finished 43 games with the feat.
The '85-86 Lakers were looking to repeat as NBA champions 31 years ago but came up short in five games to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.
Golden State finsihed Friday night with 37 assists in a 114-100 win over the Kings. Curry led the way with 12 dimes.