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- A victory can clinch the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference tonight for Golden State (46-35). If the Warriors lose and Houston (45-36) beats the Los Angeles Lakers, the Rockets move up to No. 6 and the Warriors fall to No. 7. “It’s important for us to finish the right way and to finish in the best possible position,” said coach Mark Jackson, who will use his starters for the normal minutes if necessary. “We need to give ourselves the best chance to finish the highest.”
- Guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can build on their NBA single-season record 474 made 3-pointers this season. Curry set a franchise mark with 268 and needs two makes tonight to pass Ray Allen (Seattle, 2005-06) for the NBA standard. “He’s the absolute best” shooter in the league, Jackson said of Curry. “The discussion is for who’s second place. The run he has put together, the season he has had, has been a thing of beauty.”
- Jackson endorses Warrior guard Jarrett Jack for Sixth Man of the Year. “Jarrett’s presence, his poise, his leadership, his consistency have put us in position to be a playoff team,” Jackson said. “He has played a crucial part in our success, and he closes games. He’s been a steal for us.”
- The Warriors will bring center Andrew Bogut (ankle) off the bench tonight. Jackson said he would prefer not to use forward Draymon Green (knee), but would make that decision during the game.
- Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle) will play tonight, joining JJ Hickson and rookies Damian Lillard, Victor Claver and Will Barton in the starting lineup. Regular starters Nicolas Batum (shoulder) and Wesley Matthews (ankle) will not play.
- If the Blazers lose, they will match the franchise record of 13 in a row set in 1971-72. “The losing streak has been tough, but we’re trying to take some positives,” coach Terry Stotts said. “Our rookies have gotten a lot of important experience. Three weeks ago, we were in a playoff hunt. It’s a letdown in that context. We’ve had to move on and put the priorities on getting the young guys some time.”
- Stotts said effort has not been the Blazers’ problem during the losing streak. “We’re not just throwing in the towel,” he said. “We may not play well, but the guys are playing hard. We’re not as good as the teams we’re playing right now, but there is something to play for.”
– Kerry Eggers