The Golden State Warriors don’t have much room for error as they try to remain in playoff position in the competitive Western Conference.
That could make things tougher as the Warriors look to bounce back from their most recent defeat while trying to avoid an eighth consecutive road loss to the lowly Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Golden State (41-25) lost 122-105 at Sacramento on Tuesday for just its third defeat in 11 games. It was also the second straight road loss for the Warriors, who own the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, 1 1/2 games ahead of ninth-place Denver.
“It was a game we wanted and needed,” Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson said. “Nobody is just going to let us win. We just did not come to play.”
Though Golden State is 22-10 since last losing consecutive games Jan. 2-4, it has lost two of its last three contests - allowing an average of 122.5 points in both defeats. The Warriors are again at the bottom of the NBA in scoring defense, allowing 108.1 points per contest.
Now, Golden State will try for its first road victory against the Clippers since winning 96-85 at Staples Center on March 21, 2004. The Warriors have given up an average of 107.9 points during their current seven-game losing streak at Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, though, it was their offense which failed to come through late against the Kings.
Baron Davis had 24 points and eight assists, but Golden State shot 40.9 percent and was held scoreless for a little more than 5 minutes during the fourth quarter.
“We just had too many guys who didn’t play at a very high level,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “As bad as we played, we deserved to get knocked down a few times.”
Davis, the team’s leading scorer at 22.3 points per game, is averaging 26.1 in his last nine overall contests and 21.5 in two games versus the Clippers this season.
Al Harrington had 27 points, Andris Biedrins added 23 with 18 rebounds and Davis contributed 21 points and 12 assists in the Warriors’ 122-105 home over Los Angeles on Nov. 16 in the teams’ most recent meeting.
The Clippers (21-45) return home after losing 99-90 at Minnesota on Monday for their fourth straight loss to conclude a 1-4 road trip.
“We would have rather won a couple more games if possible (on the road trip), obviously, but we’ll try and get home and take care of business there,” said Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy, whose team has lost six of its last seven at home.
Corey Maggette scored 34 points for the second consecutive contest and Tim Thomas added 22 for Los Angeles, which shot 38.8 percent Monday. The Clippers played their fifth straight game without leading rebounder Chris Kaman, who remains out with a back injury.
Maggette, who has scored 30 or more eight times in 2007-08, is averaging 19.0 points and 9.5 rebounds in two games versus Golden State this season.