W's aim to split season series with Kings

W's aim to split season series with Kings
March 27, 2013, 1:30 pm
Share This Post
I’ve been a huge Warriors fan and I’ve asked the Sacramento fans to give me a free pass and some understanding on that.
—Vivek Ranadive

Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Kings begins at 7:00 on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live.

It was just a few weeks ago, days even, that the Northern California NBA rivalry appeared to be on its last legs.

Then stepped up Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive, who has taken the lead in a group intent on purchasing the Kings and keeping them in Sacramento.

Whether it comes to pass won't be determined until an NBA Board of Governors meeting on April 18 and 19, but the an important hurdle was cleared Tuesday when the Sacramento City Council approved a $448 million downtown arena.

At the meeting in New York City, the board will vote on whether the Kings are sold to Ranadive's group and remains in Sacramento, or to another fronted by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, which plans on moving the team to Seattle.

Ranadive will find himself in a precarious position Wednesday night, when the franchise he's apart of hosts the franchise he's trying to acquire.

"I’ve been a huge Warriors fan and I’ve asked the Sacramento fans to give me a free pass and some understanding on that," Ranadive told NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai.

While the Kings' future remains in limbo, so does Golden State's playoff positioning. With ten games left, the Warriors lead Houston by one game for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings -- making each game down the stretch as important as the next.

"We have a talented Kings team coming in here and these are the games that you must win," guard Klay Thompson said. "With teams like the Rockets right on our heels, it's a must-win for us."

Each of the previous three games between the two teams this year have gone to the wire.

Sacramento won the first two at home by a combined six points early in the season before Golden State returned the favor witih an 87-83 win at Oracle Arena on March 6. Thompson hit a go-ahead corner three-pointer with 7.5 seconds left to help the Warriors escape.

It was the first time both teams failed to score 90 points in the same game against each other since they were the Philadelphia Warriors and Rochester Royals in 1957. Golden State shot just 36 percent from the field -- its lowest shooting percentage in a win since 2003.

Despite the teams' struggles in that game, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Wednesday has potential to be a high-scoring affair due to the guard play.

"They have some explosive scoreres, whether you're talking about Isaiah Thomas at the point guard posistion -- can score and have a big night," Jackson said. "Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and Marcus Thornton off the bench and that's just the perimeter guys."

With Stephen Curry, Jarrett Jack and Thompson, the Warriors' backcourt shouldn't have trouble keeping pace. The trio combined for 66 points in a 109-103 win against the Lakers on Monday, its first against the Lakers in Jackson's nearly two-year tenure.