Denver Nuggets

Who do you want the Warriors to play in Round 1?

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Who do you want the Warriors to play in Round 1?

The Warriors' season is over as they enter the playoffs the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Their opponent though, is still up in the air.

On the final day of the NBA season, the No. 7 seed is up for grabs in the West. The Warriors will either play the T'Wolves, Pelicans, Nuggets, or Spurs. 

The Warriors went 2-1 vs. the T'Wolves this season, 3-1 vs. the Pelicans, 2-2 vs. the Nuggets, and 3-1 vs. the Spurs. 

Who do you want to see Golden State play in Round 1? 

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Can Kings pull of upset against Nuggets in Denver?

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Can Kings pull of upset against Nuggets in Denver?

The Sacramento Kings begin another rough scheduling stretch, playing five games in seven nights against five teams fighting for playoff position in three different time zones. They’ll begin the barrage of games Sunday afternoon at the Pepsi Center against the Denver Nuggets.

Sacramento picked up their 21st win of the season Friday evening at Golden 1 Center against the Orlando Magic. Garrett Temple led the way with 23 points and Kosta Koufos posted a big 18-point, 13-rebounds double-double.

Denver is in a dogfight in the Western Conference playoff chase. They are currently tied with the Utah Jazz for the ninth spot in the standings and they trail the Los Angeles Clippers by just a game for the eight seed with 16 games remaining on the schedule.

BETTING LINE 

Denver by 11.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Bogdan Bogdanovic vs. Gary Harris -- Bogdanovic is in a mini shooting slump over his last two games, but he finds ways to help his team. Against the Magic on Friday night, he posted a career-best 10 assists to go with eight points. Harris is having a breakout season in his fourth year in the league. He averages 17.8 points on 40.7 percent shooting from long range in 35 minutes per game for head coach Michael Malone.

WHERE THEY STAND 

Kings: 21-45, fourth place in Pacific

Nuggets: 36-30, fourth place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT 

Kings: PG De’Aaron Fox (lower back strain) questionable, C Willie Cauley-Stein (lower back) questionable, PF Skal Labissiere (bruised left hip) out, SG/SF Iman Shumpert (knee rehab/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season. 

Nuggets: SF Wilson Chandler (right hip) probable.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

Playoff Intensity -- The Kings don’t have anything but pride to play for in the final 16 games of the season, but every game matters for the Nuggets. Denver plays five of their next six contests against non-playoff teams as they try to fight their way back into the postseason picture. 

Walking Wounded -- Sacramento’s injury report is long and includes plenty of the young players that Dave Joerger was hoping to turn to down the stretch. Labissiere won’t play after taking a major spill against Orlando. Fox and Cauley-Stein will be game time decisions. 

Hit the Defensive Glass -- Denver ranks second in the league in offensive rebounds at 11.1 boards per game. The Kings need to get a body on the Nuggets bigs and finish off the defensive possession with a rebound. Sacramento ranks last in the league in defensive rebounds, so it could be a long afternoon.

SERIES HISTORY 

Denver leads the season series 2-1, but the Kings own a one game win streak after knocking off the Nuggets at Golden 1 Center in early January. The Nuggets hold a slim 90-89 lead the all-time series but the Kings are up 66-65 during the Sacramento-era. 

Gameday: Can sluggish Warriors conquer 'scheduled loss' game?

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Gameday: Can sluggish Warriors conquer 'scheduled loss' game?

When the Warriors slog into Pepsi Center on Saturday to face Denver, trying to conquer what NBA insiders refer to as a “scheduled loss,” they’ll have reinforcements that were not available 24 hours earlier.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 5 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 6:05.

The Warriors (41-11), who arrived at their Denver hotel around 4 a.m., will have the services of veterans Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, both of whom missed the game Friday night in Sacramento. The Warriors also missed them, as they had to overcome 25 turnovers to gain the win.

The Nuggets (27-25) are coming off one of their most impressive games of the season, a 127-124 victory over Oklahoma City on Thursday night. Denver has been inconsistent, as indicated in the fact that it has yet to win or lose more than three games in a row all season.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Zaza Pachulia & Co. vs. Nikola Jokic: The Nuggets are one of several teams that play through their big, and it’s because Jokic is the best passer on the team. The Warriors will attempt to bother him with the occasional double-team as well as playing the passing lanes. He’s coming off a triple-double (29 points, 13 rebounds, 14 assists) in the win over OKC. Pachulia will have plenty of help, and he’ll need all of it.

INJURY REPORT:
Warriors: G Pat McCaw (bruised toe) was listed as questionable, but is available to play. F Jordan Bell (L ankle inflammation) and F/C David West (personal reasons) are listed as out.

Nuggets: G Gary Harris (L ankle soreness) is listed as probable. F Tyler Lydon (L knee surgery), F Paul Millsap (L wrist surgery) and C Mason Plumlee (R calf strain) are listed as out.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 8-2. Nuggets: 5-5.

GAME OFFICIALS:
Ed Malloy (crew chief), Ray Acosta, Ben Taylor

SERIES HISTORY:
This is the fourth meeting this season, with the Warriors winning two of the first three. The Warriors won two of three meetings last season and have won nine of 13 in the Steve Kerr era. The Warriors are 5-5 in their last 10 games in Denver.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
THE BACKCOURTS: There is plenty of talent on both sides. Denver has perhaps the best under-25 starting backcourt in the NBA, as Gary Harris (23 years old) and Jamal Murray (20) are potential All-Stars. They’re skilled and fearless. The Warriors, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, have two perennial All-Stars. This is likely where the game will be decided.

THE BENCHES: With the Warriors forced to play their starters fairly heavy minutes to secure the win Friday night, the bench will come into play, particularly on defense. Denver’s second unit is 27th in true-shooting percentage, 26th in defensive rating and also prone to turnovers. This is a battle the Warriors can win, and they’ll probably need to.

THE GLASS: The Nuggets play with energy; are No. 2 in rebounding differential (plus-4.0), No. 2 in offensive rebounding and No. 4 in second-chance points. In three games this season, Denver has outscored the Warriors 50-30 in second-chance points. Considering the altitude and their travel schedule, this could be a problem for the Warriors.