The Golden State Warriors look to finish with a winning record at The Arena in Oakland for the third time in four seasons when they face the Portland Trail Blazers in the finale of a home-and-home series.
After winning the fifth straight meeting between the teams, the Warriors seek their first season sweep of Portland in the matchup of last-place clubs.
Despite having only nine players available, the Warriors managed to hand the Trail Blazers their 17th loss in 18 games Saturday, 86-81. Golden State played without Troy Murphy and Baron Davis, sidelined with ankle injuries, while star guard Jason Richardson was out with a sore knee and guard Mickael Pietrus sat with a strained right groin.
“We’ve got a lot of injuries and the young guys are using this time to get better,” Warriors rookie starting forward Ike Diogu said. “We’re not just going through the motions.”
Biedrins had a season-high 14 points and 10 rebounds Saturday, while Bynum added 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Ellis had 11 points but shot 3-of-16 from the field.
Mike Dunleavy had 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Warriors, who won their third straight and ended a five-game road skid.
Now Golden State, 20-20 at The Arena in Oakland, will look to post another winning season at home. The Warriors finished one game under .500 at home last season, but were 27-14 there in 2003-04 and 24-17 in 2002-03.
The Warriors can match their longest winning streak of 2005-06 by taking their final two games. Golden State, though, will miss the playoffs for the 12th straight season.
The Blazers come in with the NBA’s worst record and have lost six in a row. Much of the intrigue lately for Portland has come off the court, as Paul Allen attended Saturday’s loss and acknowledged it could be his last as team owner. Former Blazers guard Terry Porter has announced he is attempting to round up an investor group to purchase the team.
Allen said his future with the franchise will be determined before the June 28 draft.
“I’ve come to terms with it,” Allen said.
Allen’s club continues to suffer from discipline problems, as Zach Randolph was fined for missing the team photo before Saturday’s game, and Darius Miles returned to the court after being sent home from Los Angeles after changing out of his uniform during Wednesday’s defeat to the Clippers.
On Monday, the Blazers suspended Randolph for this game and fined him for leaving the arena during Saturday’s contest. Miles was booed when he entered the game in the first quarter, and finished with eight points.
The Trail Blazers have dropped 32 of their last 37, with all but 10 of the losses coming by at least 10 points. Portland is in danger of finishing with the NBA’s worst record for the first time since 1971-72.