Jazz-Warriors Preview

After posting mixed results over the past few weeks, the Golden State Warriors put on a clinic against a much weaker opponent last time out.

They’ve also had their way with the last-place Utah Jazz.

Looking to continue their playoff push, the Warriors try to sweep the visiting Jazz for the first time Sunday night.

Golden State (47-29) had allowed an average of 103.7 points – about five above its season mark – in splitting its previous 10 games before clamping down in Friday’s 102-69 rout of Sacramento. The Warriors limited the Kings to a season-worst 32.1 percent shooting and their fewest points.

"At times this year we haven’t beaten teams that we have should’ve beaten in our building," said coach Mark Jackson, whose team was up 59-27 at halftime. "We understood what we had to do tonight and the guys deserve a lot of credit."

Klay Thompson led seven Warriors in double figures with 21 points before joining Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala on the bench for some well-deserved rest in the fourth quarter. Fellow starters David Lee (hamstring) and Andrew Bogut (pelvis/groin contusion) have missed the last handful of games due to injury.

The Warriors sit in sixth place in the Western Conference, 1 1/2 games behind Portland, but Dallas, Memphis and Phoenix are all within two games of them.

"We understand what’s going on around us," Curry said. "Obviously we’re ahead of the game and understand if we play the way we’re supposed to we don’t need anybody else’s help. You watch games and understand who’s playing well, who won, who lost, that kind of deal.

"At the end of the day we have to take care of our business and that’s the only thing you really should be focused on."

The Warriors haven’t made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since 1990-91 and ’91-92.

"Our mindset is to be playing the best basketball possible to close out the season, to win ballgames and then let the chips fall where they may," Jackson said. "Whatever seed we are, we’re going to be playing against a very good basketball team whoever it is. We want to take care of our business first."

There was another shakeup involving Jackson’s staff Friday, with assistant coach Darren Erman getting fired for "a violation of company policy." Jackson had reassigned assistant Brian Scalabrine to the team’s D-League affiliate on March 25 for a "difference in philosophies."

Jackson and his team appear to have a good chance to inch closer to a playoff spot against the Jazz, whom they have outscored by an average of 10.0 points in taking all three meetings this season. Curry scored a season-high 44 as the Warriors won 95-90 in Utah on Jan. 31.

Golden State’s three-game winning streak against Utah is its longest since 1994. The Warriors have never swept this season series since the New Orleans Jazz debuted in 1974-75.

Utah (24-52) had lost five in a row and 16 of 18 before beating New Orleans 100-96 on Friday. Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks scored 21 points apiece and Derrick Favors added 20 as the Jazz shot 51.6 percent.

"We realize we’re not there yet individually, where we can just play for ourselves and still win," said Hayward, averaging 21.0 points over the last six games. "We need to play as a team."

Utah has dropped 11 of 12 on the road, including its last five while allowing 112.0 points per game. The Warriors have won seven straight and 12 of 13 at home when scoring at least 95.