OAKLAND – The Warriors continue to state their primary regular-season goal is obtaining the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, thereby earning home-court advantage throughout the first three rounds of the postseason.
The outcome of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Oracle Arena on Sunday will provide a glimpse of just how much of an advantage there is.
Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame, followed by tipoff scheduled for 5:40 p.m.
[RELATED: How to watch Warriors vs. Hornets]
The Warriors are 3-3 at home in March and need a win over Charlotte to clinch their fifth consecutive Pacific Division title – and also avoid a losing home record over a full month for the first time in five seasons under coach Steve Kerr. As it is, their 26-11 record at Oracle is only the ninth-best home record in the NBA this season.
The Warriors (51-24) enter the game tied with Denver atop the Western Conference. The Nuggets are at home Sunday to face the reeling Washington Wizards.
Though the Hornets (35-40) have won four of their last five games, they still face an uphill battle for one of the eight berths in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Charlotte is 10th, 2.5 games behind eighth-place Miami but only 3.5 games behind sixth-place Detroit.
F – Kevin Durant
F – Draymond Green
C – DeMarcus Cousins
G – Klay Thompson
G – Stephen Curry
F – Miles Bridges
F – Marvin Williams
C – Bismack Biyombo
G – Dwayne Bacon
G – Kemba Walker
Warriors: C Damian Jones (L pectoral surgery) is listed as out.
Hornets: C Cody Zeller (L knee soreness) is listed as out.
Warriors: Entering the game at full health, the Warriors will have their full rotation available, meaning five players (Jordan Bell, Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney, Cousins and Green) are capable of filling minutes at center. Given the matchups, Bell may not see the floor.
With the team’s recent troubles on the glass (out rebounded in five of the last seven games, by 14 Thursday against the Timberwolves), expect that to be emphasized among big men.
The reserves need a bounce-back game after being outplayed by Minnesota’s backups on Friday. They were outscored 49-25, outrebounded 25-9.
Cousins’ streak of consecutive games with double-figures scoring is at 15.
Thompson needs six 3-pointers to move past Rashard Lewis (1,787) and into 16th place on the all-time list.
If Curry connects on at least five triples, it will mark the first time in his career he has done so in eight consecutive games.
Hornets: As usual, everything the Hornets do revolves around the dynamic skills of Walker, who has scored at least 30 points in 24 games this season and his 25.2 ppg average is 13th in the league.
The absence of Zeller is a big blow, as he poured in a season-high 28 points against the Warriors on Feb. 25 in Charlotte.
Though Biyombo has been starting for Zeller, Frank Kaminsky III has been getting more minutes. Out of the rotation for much of the season, Kaminsky is a more accomplished scorer than Biyombo, who has the edge on defense.
Sixth Man Jeremy Lamb is averaging 15.0 ppg and has seven double-doubles but has been slumping, shooting 28.8 percent (17-59) from the field over the last five games.
[RELATED: Draymond opens up on use of SoulCycle]
Charlotte’s 12.5 turnovers per game is second-lowest in the league.
The Hornets are 0-22 on the road this season when they enter the fourth quarter trailing.
Officials: Sean Wright, Courtney Kirkland, Derek Richardson.