Home Sports Warriors tonight: 10 Things about the Wizards’ visit to Oracle Arena

Warriors tonight: 10 Things about the Wizards’ visit to Oracle Arena

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			Warriors tonight: 10 Things about the Wizards’ visit to Oracle Arena


Tipoff: 5 p.m. Sunday at Oracle Arena. TV: NBC Sports Bay Area (formerly CSN Bay Area). Radio: KGMZ 95.7 “The Game” in Oakland and San Francisco, KRTY 95.3 in San Jose, KUIC 95.3 in Solano County, KION 1460 and 101.1 in Salinas and Monterey.


Warriors: 62-14, No. 1 in the Western Conference, 3½ games ahead of No. 2 San Antonio with six games remaining.
Wizards: 46-30, tied for No. 3 in the Eastern Conference with Toronto, 2½ games behind No. 2 Cleveland and three behind No. 1 Boston.


Warriors: Defeated the Houston Rockets 107-98 on Friday night at Oracle Arena for their 10th consecutive victory. Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Klay Thompson had 20, but it was Golden State’s defense that was the difference, especially in the fourth quarter. In the final period the Warriors held to Rockets to 13 points on 3-for-15 shooting (20 percent). JaVale McGee provided huge lift off the bench, scoring all of his 13 points in 5:37 of action in the second quarter. For the game, he also had four rebounds and five blocked shots in 10:52.
Wizards: Lost at Utah 95-88 on Friday night in Salt Lake City. Bradley Beal led Washington with 27 points. The Wizards have lost two in a row after a four-game winning streak.


Washington has won the only meeting of the season. On Feb. 28, the Warriors lost Kevin Durant in a 112-108 loss at the Verizon Center. Durant suffered a Grade 2 medial collateral ligament sprain and tibial bone bruise within the first minute of the game. Golden State fell behind 40-26 after one quarter, but got back in the game in the third quarter and had a shot at the lead when Stephen Curry missed a 3-pointer with the score 110-108 with six seconds remaining. John Wall had 19 assists and Beal scored 25 points.


Klay Thompson vs. Bradley Beal: Two of the top shooting guards in the NBA will go at each other. Beal is averaging 23.1 points per game and shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 40.5 percent on 3-pointers. Since the All-Star break, his numbers have been better: 25.3 points, 49.6 percent from the field and 41.0 from beyond the arc. Beal has four 40-point games this season. Thompson (22.2 points, 47.1 percent from the field, 41.8 percent on 3-pointers) has picked it up offensively since Durant’s injury. In March, Thompson averaged 23.5 points and shot 47.9 percent from the floor and 43.1 percent on 3-pointers. And he continues to be an elite defender.


If a crowd were to actually have a reason to turn on an opposing player — even more than those jilted Oklahoma City fans — tonight would be the night. This is the first time the Warriors and their fans will see Marcin Gortat, the Wizards center who threw Zaza Pachulia into Durant’s left knee. On the play in question, Gortat was battling for rebounding position with Pachulia when he cast him aside. Gortat is the NBA’s 10th-leading rebounder at 10.7 per game and is seventh in field-goal percentage at 57.0 percent.


Draymond Green might have clinched his first NBA Defensive Player of the Year award after what he did to the Rockets in Friday night’s nationally televised game. Green was everywhere, even taking on James Harden on the perimeter on switches. In the fourth quarter, Green was an intimidating rim protector, even at 6-foot-7. He got two of his three blocked shots in the final 7:06.


Washington clinched the Southeast Division last week for its first division title since the 1978-79 season, which is also the last time the franchise went to the NBA Finals. Not bad for a team that was 7-13 a quarter of the way through the season. The Wizards are battling Toronto for the No. 3 seed and a probable first-round matchup against No. 6 Atlanta. The importance of finishing third? The No. 4 seed most likely will see a dangerous Milwaukee team in the first round. Toronto won the season series 2-1 and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker. Washington has not been eliminated from race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, sitting three games behind Boston. But a lot would have to go right for the Wizards to pass three teams with six games remaining.


Washington is the only team in the NBA the Warriors have yet to beat this season. If the Wizards win tonight, they would be the first team to sweep the Warriors in the Steve Kerr era. The last teams to sweep the Warriors were Charlotte (2-0) and San Antonio (4-0) in the 2013-14 season. … This is the Warriors’ last game against an Eastern Conference team this season. They are 24-5 against the East. Washington is 17-12 against the West. … Green and Washington’s John Wall are 1-2 in the league in steals. Green is averaging 2.08 per game and Wall 1.99. … The Warriors and Wizards are 1-2 in the NBA in steals with Golden State at 9.7 and Washington at 8.5.


If the Warriors are the No. 1 seed: They would face the No. 8 seed in the first round of the playoffs. Portland has won six in a row and nine of 10 to reach .500 (38-38) and move 2½ games ahead of No. 9 Denver. The Trail Blazers also own the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning the season series against the Nuggets 3-1. Denver has lost three in a row.
If the Warriors are the No. 2 seed: They would face the No. 7 seed in the first round. Memphis has won two in a row to pull within 1½ games of No. 6 Oklahoma City. The Grizzlies are four games ahead of No. 8 Portland.

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