NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 17th (All times Eastern)
Golden State Warriors (46-35) at Portland Trail Blazers (30-51), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Golden State Warriors still have a lot to play for Wednesday night when they close out the regular season with a trip to Portland to meet the Trail Blazers.
The Warriors are currently sixth in the Western Conference and can hold on to that spot with a win Wednesday. If they lose, and the Houston Rockets beat the Los Angeles Lakers in L.A., the Warriors would fall to seventh by virtue of losing the season series to Houston.
If both teams lose, the Warriors stay sixth, but their opponents are still to be determined. The Denver Nuggets are in the driver's seat for the third spot, but the Los Angeles Clippers could also get the third seed. The San Antonio Spurs are locked into the second seed, so if the Warriors fall to No. 7, that's who'd they'd meet.
"You can't go into a game thinking 'Hey we get this win and see what happens.' We know what the result will be if we play 48 minutes," said Steph Curry. "It'll be good for us to finish on a high note going into the playoffs. You don't want to go up there and lose a game and think about that until the first round starts."
Curry was remarkable on Monday night in a 116-106 victory at home over the San Antonio Spurs. He finished with 35 points on 7-for-13 shooting from 3-point distance.
Curry now only needs two made 3-pointers in the season finale to break Ray Allen's NBA record of 269 made 3-pointers set in the 2005-06 season.
"I didn't want to chase it, but he started making shots," said head coach Mark Jackson. "I liked the idea of being within reach come Wednesday."
The Blazers lost their 12th straight on Tuesday when they fell to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, 93-77. The Clippers needed to win the game to try for either the third seed in the west, or, at the very least, for home-court in the first round of the playoffs.
Portland played without starters LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Niclas Batum. Will Barton led the team in scoring with 17, but rookie Damian Lillard got into the history book.
Lillard made two 3-pointers in the loss, but he set the NBA mark for most 3- pointers made by a rookie earlier in the season. In the second quarter, his 182nd made long ball fell and he broke Damon Stoudemire's franchise record for threes in a season.
"Coming in I knew a lot of people had doubts about me because of the school I went to, the competition and all that type of stuff, so I had a chip on my shoulder coming in to prove them wrong." acknowledged the Weber State product. "I also wanted to help this team do better than people thought we could because they said it was a rebuilding process and things like that. I thought I got both of those things done."
The Warriors have won both of this season's matchups with the Blazers although both were at Oracle Arena. Golden State is 1-3 in its last four in Portland.
04/17 10:40:02 ET