Warriors vs. Wizards: What to watch for

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Warriors vs. Wizards: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Wizards coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Stick around after the final whistle for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors are coming off an impressive win over the Nets in Brooklyn on Friday, and now a potential toe-stubber shows up in the form of the Washington Wizards.

Golden State (12-7), which has started its seven-game road trip with consecutive wins, faces the worst team in the league – record-wise, certainly – on Saturday at the Verizon Center, in D.C.

The Wizards (2-14) began the year with 12 straight losses, but have won two of their past four games – including a win last Tuesday against the defending-champion Miami Heat.

John Wall has been out all season for the Wizards with a strained left knee, and Trevor Ariza missed Friday’s game against the Hawks with a strained left calf.

Here are some things to watch for when the Warriors play the Wizards on Saturday night:

No letdown: No doubt, the Warriors are coming off a satisfying win against the Nets. Can they back it up? Quite frankly, there’s no reason to think they can’t.

The Warriors are 6-4 on the road this season, with wins over the L.A. Clippers, Mavericks and now Brooklyn.

Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Carl Landry all had minutes on the low-side against the Nets, so they should be able to play plenty of minutes, if need be, against Washington.

Pace of the game: It’s not a stretch to suggest that the Warriors have more scorers on their roster than the Wizards. And so one thing Golden State would like to do is quicken the game in order to create more possessions.

The more uptempo the game, the more it favors the Warriors. In that respect, it’s not dissimilar to Friday night’s game against the Nets.

By getting into the hundreds against the Nets – a 109-102 victory – it sure seemed to give the Warriors a better shot at winning the game.

More Curry and Lee: There have been numerous contributors this season for the Warriors, but in recent games Stephen Curry and David Lee have been particularly good.

Curry had 28 points and five assists against Brooklyn, and had had four consecutive 20-point, 10-assist games before that. Lee is coming off a 30-point, 15-rebound game against the Nets and he’d been very good before that.

If Curry and Lee continue to play well, the Warriors have a chance to have a very good road trip.

Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

OAKLAND -- Though the Warriors on Sunday will begin a stretch in which they play three games in four nights and five in eight, coach Steve Kerr said there are no plans to rest anyone.

He did, however, leave open the possibility of sitting a couple veterans.

“The only guys who I would consider resting over the next week, barring injury, would be Shaun (Livingston) and Andre (Iguodala),” Kerr said Sunday afternoon, prior to tipoff against Memphis at Oracle Arena. “And that’s routine, because of the wear and tear, the age and the constant monitoring we’re doing with those guys.

“But the schedule is fine. I’m not planning on resting anybody in San Antonio.”

After facing the Grizzlies, the Warriors on Monday fly to Houston, where on Tuesday night they will play the Rockets. The following night, they face the Spurs in a game of particular significance.

Though the Warriors are assured of having the homecourt advantage should they make it to the NBA Finals, they have yet to reach that status in the Western Conference. The Spurs were two games back prior to the Warriors-Grizzlies game.

After returning home from San Antonio, the Warriors face the Rockets next Friday night and the Washington Wizards at home on April 2.

All five teams during this stretch are either in the playoffs and likely to be in. The Warriors entered Sunday with a combined 2-6 record against those teams.

NBA Gameday: Revenge on Warriors' mind against Grizzlies

NBA Gameday: Revenge on Warriors' mind against Grizzlies

OAKLAND -- Forgive the Warriors if they have a measure of vengeance on their minds when the step on the floor Sunday afternoon.

They’ll be staring at the Memphis Grizzlies, who came into Oracle Arena on Jan. 6 and handed the Warriors perhaps their most galling regular-season loss in three years, wiping out a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to take a 128-119 victory in overtime. It was the first time in 55 years a team had staged a comeback of that magnitude against the team with the best record in the league.

The Warriors (58-14), who have been the NBA’s best home team since 2014, will be seeking to even the season series as well as win their seventh consecutive game.

One of the surprise teams of the NBA in the first half of the season, the Grizzlies (40-32) have come back to reality, going 6-8 since the All-Star break. They’ve lost their last two, at New Orleans and at San Antonio.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 10.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: It has become cliché to say Conley is underrated, so we’ll just say he’s the NBA’s finest unsung point guard. Curry and his teammates know this. Conley this season is averaging career-highs in scoring (20.0 points per game), field -goal percentage (44.9) and 3-point field-goal percentage (39.7). Curry, of course, is the back-to-back MVP and the man most likely to feel salty about that Jan. 6 loss. He also has been playing well of late. These two will generally dictate the fortunes of their respective teams.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain and bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (L foot strain) is out. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) is listed as out. G Wade Baldwin, C Deyonta Davis and Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 7-3. Grizzlies: 4-6.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have lost two of three meetings earlier this season but have won nine of the last 12 overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
THE PACE GAME: The Grizzlies are deliberate and ultra-physical. They prefer to play at a crawl; they rank 28th in pace. Their philosophy is to stay close through three quarters and find a way to win in the fourth. The Warriors want to play at jackrabbit speed; they’re third in pace. The team that can impose its style gains a massive advantage.

OPENING/CLOSING STATEMENTS: The Warriors will seek to build an early lead in hopes of enlarging their margin for error. They may need any cushion they can create, as they well know the Grizzlies thrive in the clutch. Memphis is 15-6 in “super-clutch games (within 3 points in the final minute or regulation or OT).

KLAY AND THE GRINDFATHER: Memphis guard Tony Allen takes particular pride in his ability to defend, and he goes after Klay Thompson like a lion chasing a gazelle. Each has had his individual triumphs over the other, and their battle occasionally influences the outcome. Thompson won the last, torching the Grizzlies for 36 points last month in Memphis. Allen surely remembers that.