The Golden State Warriors have had the luxury of playing at home for the majority of the past month and it has helped them move closer to their first playoff berth since 2006-07.
The Warriors are sixth in the Western Conference and have a slim one-game lead over the Houston Rockets with both the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers 3 1/2 games clear of Golden State, which will close out a five-game homestand Wednesday versus the New Orleans Hornets.
Golden State is 3-1 on the homestand and in the thick of playing 15 of 19 games at Oracle Arena. In Saturday's 125-98 beating of the Portland Trail Blazers their last time out, the Warriors got 39 points from Steph Curry and prevailed for the fifth time in the past seven tries to keep moving along in pursuit of a postseason spot.
Curry, who pumped in a career-high 54 points at New York on Feb. 27, is averaging 28.4 ppg in his last seven games. He went 14-of-22 from the field and knocked down 7 of his 12 3-point attempts. Curry also had six assists and five rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 54 percent from the field and used a a 17-3 burst spanning the first and second quarters.
"It's amazing the clinic he is putting on," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said of Curry. "It's absolutely amazing. You see the shots go up and you are shocked when they miss. You hear the sighs from the fans and the eyes off the opponent and your own team and you look at the bench -- we are witnessing one of the greatest shooters that have ever played this game. And he's in the discussion with anybody that has ever played."
Carl Landry scored 25 points off the bench and also pulled down 10 rebounds, while David Lee had 13 points and eight boards in the recent win. The victory guaranteed Golden State a winning record for the first time since 2007-08.
Landry became the first player in N BA history to post at least 25 points and 10 rebounds off the bench in less than 23 minutes.
After the Warriors, who are 25-11 at home, host New Orleans, they will visit Phoenix on Friday before returning home for three games.
The Hornets will begin their final road trip of the season, a five-game jaunt against Western Conference foes in Golden State, Utah, Phoenix, the L.A. Lakers and Sacramento.
New Orleans is winless in its last six road assignments and 10-25 outside the banks of the Mississippi. It just went 4-3 on a recent homestand at the Hive, which was culminated with Sunday's 112-92 win over Cleveland. Greivis Vasquez overcame some first-half jitters to post 25 points and nine assists, and Ryan Anderson nailed five 3-pointers en route to 23 points for the Hornets, who ended a two-game slide.
"(Hornets coach Monty Williams) called me out in front of everybody (at the half)," Vasquez, who had just five points and three assists in the first half, said. "When he calls me out, I got to respond. I don't take it personally."
Vasquez is third on the team in scoring with 14.0 ppg and first with 9.2 assists per game. Anderson has buried 199-of-511 3-pointers, third-most on the franchise's all-time list of 3-pointers made in a season. Peja Stojakovic hit 231-of-524 back in 2007-08 and Glen Rice sank 207 of his 440 tries in 1996-97.
The Hornets faced the music and defeated some pretty solid clubs on their recent homestand, including victories versus Boston, Memphis and Denver. They can spoil some other team's postseason aspirations down the stretch.
New Orleans has lost the first three meetings with Golden State this season.
The two clubs have split the past 12 encounters in Oakland.