Atlanta At Golden State
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Friday, March 7, 2014
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
The Golden State Warriors should have been tired on the second night of a back-to-back at the end of a six-game road trip, but instead they dominated the Boston Celtics to close out a 4-2 swing. The Atlanta Hawks, who visit the Warriors on Friday, are doing all they can to give away the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs with losses in 12 of their last 13 games. The Hawks were slammed 102-78 at Portland on Wednesday.
The Warriors only needed the starters for about 2 1/2 quarters in the 108-88 win over the Celtics, which came one night after a last-second victory over the Indiana Pacers. Golden State is trying to gain some separation between itself, the Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, who are fighting for the final few playoff spots in the West. Atlanta owns a healthy three-game lead over the Detroit Pistons in the race for the No. 8 spot in the East despite the recent swoon.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, SportSouth (Atlanta), CSN Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE HAWKS (26-33): Atlanta was four games over .500 and making a strong case for being the third-best team in the East on Feb. 1 before injuries took their toll on the team. All-Star Paul Millsap sat out his fifth straight game with a knee contusion on Wednesday and is just the latest in a string of setbacks that began when Al Horford went down for the season in late December. One of the few highlights for the Hawks in the last month had been Kyle Korver’s continued assault on the record books, but his NBA-record string of 127 straight games with at least one 3-pointer came to an end on Wednesday.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (38-24): Golden State will play nine of its next 11 at home after surviving the Eastern Conference swing and has won seven of the last nine overall. “I thought we did a great job against a team that, in all honesty, we are better than,” coach Mark Jackson said after the win in Boston. “It was a type of game where you can overlook them. They compete, they are well coached but fortunately we came in here and took care of business.” Klay Thompson hit the game-winning shot among 25 points in Indiana and followed it up with 18 points in 28 minutes at Boston.
1. Warriors G Stephen Curry is 22-for-31 from 3-point range over his last five home games.
2. Golden State earned a 101-100 win at Atlanta on Jan. 3 on Andre Iguodala’s buzzer beater.
3. Millsap is with the team on the road trip but remains day-to-day.
PREDICTION: Warriors 106, Hawks 92
Stats and Records
Golden State Off vs
103.3 Points For
102.3 Points Against