Warriors aim for 50-win season

Matt Fowler, Staff Writer

Mark Jackson wants to win.  It’s that simple.

That was his attitude heading into Sunday’s 130-102 win against the Utah Jazz.  He could care less about what he calls “chatter” with the media.  “My job will be determined on winning,” Jackson said.

The recent re-assignment of assistant coach Brian Scalabrine and the firing of assistant coach Darren Erman have been points of emphasis these past few weeks.  Speculation has evolved that Jackson’s job could be in jeopardy.

“The talk about what these two guys have done, that has nothing to do with me,” Jackson said before the game.  “Judging me, I don’t lose sleep over that. My job is to lead this team and do what’s best for this organization.”

The Warriors had an easy time with Sunday’s game.  Utah’s biggest lead for the entire game was two points; Golden State’s biggest lead was 31.  Stephen Curry had 16 in the first quarter and hit his first four 3-pointers.  His backcourt teammate, Klay Thompson, had 33 for the game.

“Guys are setting great screens and getting confidence and hitting open shots, sometimes they don’t even have to be open.  The ball movement is pretty high right now,” Curry said.

The Warriors played the first three-quarters and had an even fourth quarter because by that time, they had a comfortable lead and could afford to rest their starter.

“We talked about finishing the season the right way and these last two games have been a thing of beauty,” Jackson said after the game.  “All the chatter outside of the locker room, these guys deserve a lot of credit; how tied together they are, how focused they are.”

The Warriors have now surpassed their win total last year and currently have a record of 48-29.  They are the sixth seed in the Western conference and trail the fifth seed Portland Trailblazers by one- and a-half games, with five left to play.  The Warriors’ schedule is very favorable down the stretch, only playing one playoff team in those five games.  The focus now shifts to their next opponent, the Denver Nuggets, on Thursday.

The Nuggets are 11 games under .500 and have lost seven out of their last 10 games.  The Warriors will likely be without David Lee, who has missed six straight games with nerve damage.  Still, the probability that this team will win 50 games for the first time in 20 years is very high, given the remaining schedule.