As the season winds down, Golden State and Portland are playing for the future.
Golden State tries for a third straight win as it seeks to end a five-game road slide when it visits the Trail Blazers in the start of a home-and-home set between the two worst teams in the Western Conference.
Both teams have given their young players plenty of minutes over the last few weeks to try to evaluate their rosters.
Golden State had dropped a season-high nine straight wins before posting impressive wins over Western Conference contenders Dallas and Phoenix in its last two outings.
Ellis received his first career start Friday and responded with 12 points and Diogu notched his second career double-double with 10 and 10 rebounds in a 110-102 win over Phoenix on Friday.
Golden State has used big second halves in each of the last two games. The Warriors scored 66 points after halftime against Dallas and 63 against Phoenix.
“At this point, technically the games are meaningless, so to go ahead and win them all, we’re going to try,” said forward Mike Dunleavy.
Portland, which owns the worst record in the NBA, has dropped five straight and 26 of its last 29 games.
The Trail Blazers have given increased playing time to rookie Martell Webster, who has responded to average 13.7 points over his last three outings. Webster came off the bench Friday to score 18 points in a 110-99 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers.
Second-year guard Sebastian Telfair is averaging 13.6 points on 51 percent shooting over his last seven games. Telfair is averaging 16.0 points in two games against the Warriors this season.
“He’s not (going to be) traded,” Portland coach Nate McMillan said. “My thing is to continue to work with him so that he can help this team win. So, yes, I expect him to be back next year.”