Golden State (30-36) at Sacramento (15-49)

By JEFF BARTL, STATS Writer Monday, Mar 14, 2011 Tipoff: 10:00 pm EDT Mon Mar 14, 2011

The Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings likely won’t be playing in the postseason, but their matchups this season have been nothing short of exciting.

Sacramento hosts Golden State on Monday night in the third matchup of a season series in which the previous two were Warriors wins in overtime.

The Warriors (30-36) have also won two straight overall, taking differing paths to those victories. They hit a franchise-record 21 3-pointers Friday, rallying from 21 points down to beat Orlando 123-120 in overtime.

Two nights later, they produced their best defensive showing in five years. Golden State beat Minnesota 100-77 on Sunday, halting Kevin Love’s(notes) double-double streak at 53 games and forcing the Timberwolves into 36.6 percent shooting.

It marked the fewest points allowed by the Warriors since a 109-77 victory Feb. 4, 2006 - also against Minnesota.

Stephen Curry(notes) scored 24 points and added nine rebounds Sunday for Golden State, which entered play giving up 105.8 points per game, 28th in the NBA.

Love had 12 rebounds, but David Lee(notes) held him to a 1-of-6 shooting performance and six points.

“I had a lot of help (Sunday),” said Lee, who had eight points and six rebounds. “The biggest thing was I knew if we could keep him from having a big night that we could win another game.”

If this matchup plays out similarly to the previous two meetings between the Warriors and Kings this season, it won’t be a defensive clinic.

Monta Ellis(notes) scored 36 points in a 117-109 overtime victory Dec. 21 at Sacramento, and his 28 points complemented Curry’s 34 on Jan. 21 at home in another Golden State overtime win - 119-112.

Sacramento (15-49) has dropped six straight overall and allowed 100 points or more in 13 of its last 14 games, including a 115-103 loss Saturday at New Orleans.

Marcus Thornton(notes) scored 25 points against his former team, but foul trouble plagued Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins(notes). He finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but sat most of the fourth quarter while the Hornets pulled way.

“We just ran out of gas and couldn’t execute when we needed to in the fourth quarter,” said coach Paul Westphal, whose club got outscored 31-18 in the final 12 minutes after entering the fourth with a one-point lead. “Obviously, we couldn’t stop Chris Paul(notes) and David West(notes). That’s pretty much the game in a nutshell.”

The Kings played without two of their best players from their meetings with the Warriors in Beno Udrih(notes) and Tyreke Evans(notes). Udrih scored 34 points in the December loss, while Evans had 35 in January.

Udrih (flu) is a game-time decision Monday, while Evans likely will remain sidelined. He hopes to return soon from the plantar fasciitis which has kept him sidelined for the past month.

The Warriors have won three straight meetings with the Kings and six of the last eight.

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Monday, Mar 14