Warriors

NBA Gameday: Three goals for JaVale McGee against DeMarcus Cousins

NBA Gameday: Three goals for JaVale McGee against DeMarcus Cousins

Programming note: Warriors-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- It’s not often that the Warriors feel they have something to prove, but there will be at least a measure of pride on the line Wednesday night.

Eleven days after a shocking loss in Sacramento, the Warriors take the floor at Oracle Arena trying to avoid their first two-game losing streak to the Kings since 2011.

The Warriors (46-9), coming off a stunning 22-point loss at Denver, are looking to extend to 142 their NBA record streak of games without consecutive losses; no other team has reached 100. They’re 23-3 this season at home, where they average 122.3 points per game.

The Kings (24-32) are on their second four-game win streak this season. Can they make it five? They’ve had two five-game win streaks over the last 10 years.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 18

MATCHUP TO WATCH

JaVale McGee vs. DeMarcus Cousins: Cousins is a load under any circumstances, but he has been terrific lately, with 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists Tuesday night against the Lakers in LA. With the Warriors’ top two centers out, McGee has three goals: 1) Stay out of foul trouble; 2) Make Boogie work on defense; and 3) Do not let Cousins dominate the paint. The Warriors are fine with Cousins launching threes, but if he does damage inside and gets to the foul line, it could be trouble.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: Klay Thompson (R heel soreness) is listed as probable. C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and F/C David West (L thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Kings: G Ty Lawson (L adductor strain) is listed as questionable. F Omri Casspi (R plantaris tendon strain), F Rudy Gay (L Achilles tear) and G Garrett Temple (L hamstring, partial tear) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Kings: 6-4.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won two of three meetings this season and 13 of the last 14 overall. They have won the last six games, and 17 of the last 20, in Oakland.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE REVENGE FACTOR: The Warriors hate to lose, but they hate it even more when beaten by a team they routinely dominate. Having lost to the Kings for the first time in nearly four years, they’ll be out to reestablish their superiority.

THE GLASS WARS: The Kings are a notoriously poor rebounding team; they rank 29th this season. The Warriors, largely through team effort, have become a good rebounding squad. After losing the glass battle 52-27 to the Nuggets, they’ll make a conscious effort to own it.

THE PACE GAME: Knowing the Kings (27th in pace) are not built to run, the Warriors (second) likely will push tempo at every opportunity. Given their relatively thin post defense, that may be the best way to grind down the effectiveness of Cousins.

Austin Rivers explains how Steph Curry, Warriors transformed NBA offenses

Austin Rivers explains how Steph Curry, Warriors transformed NBA offenses

Austin Rivers knows a thing or two about defending Steph Curry.

The Houston Rockets guard isn't shy about his confidence when guarding the Warriors star, but that doesn't mean Rivers is unaware of Curry's impact on the NBA. To hear him tell it, Curry's transformed basketball as much as anyone in recent memory.

"Comparing him to other players, he's not the most athletic guy on the floor nine out of 10 times," Rivers told Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke and guard Quinn Cook on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' podcast. "But nine out of 10 times, he's usually the best player on the floor, and that's changed the game. Kids used to want to dunk, and now they want to shoot 3s.

"He's changed the way basketball is played. It's a [3-point shooter's] league now."

Rivers said that impact is clearest on his own team. Under Mike D'Antoni, the Rockets lead the NBA in 3-point attempts per game (44.8) and 3-point makes (15.7). 

He thinks you can draw a straight line between D'Antoni's strategy and what Curry and the Warriors have done over the last five years. 

"The effect that Steph has singlehandedly had on the NBA has been huge -- and Golden State, period," Rivers continued. "They've set this trend where now we follow. We shoot 40-to-50 threes a game because we're trying to emulate what works, and what they've had." 

[RELATED: Quinn Cook reveals how Coach K uses Beyonce to motivate Duke players]

They've also had a trickle-down effect, according to Rivers. When he's working basketball camps, he said kids want to emulate one of two players' specific skills: Curry's, or Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving's ball-handling. 

When 6-foot-3 Curry nails a half-court shot, or 6-foot-3 Irving crosses over a helpless defender, Rivers thinks a young player would see either as more attainable than what, say, 6-foot-8, 240-pound LeBron James can on a nightly basis.

"They're not going to be doing the stuff he does, so what's realistic for a person," Rivers asked, rhetorically. " ... They're not freak athletes. They don't dunk on people. They're just skilled. So, that's every kid's dream." 

Something tells us Rivers won't be dreaming of facing either Curry or Irving in the postseason. 

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.

NBA Power Rankings 2019: Warriors back on top, Kings keep sliding

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USATSI/AP

NBA Power Rankings 2019: Warriors back on top, Kings keep sliding

Three weeks, people. That’s all that remains of this regular season. The real battles in the Western Conference are for seeding, while in the Eastern Conference, several rats are pushing and shoving for the right to be devoured in the first round.

And way down below are dozens of players planning vacations and nine or 10 franchises tryin’ for Zion in the May 14 draft lottery.

Here are the Power Rankings through games of March 21:

VIEW NBA POWER RANKINGS HERE