NBA Playoffs

How Warriors can keep top-six playoff seed hopes alive Tuesday

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The Warriors' chances of clinching one of the Western Conference's top six NBA playoff seeds could be determined Tuesday night.

The Warriors (43-35) already have clinched at least an NBA Play-In Tournament trip, but their hopes of securing a first-round playoff series lie with their road matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers (45-34), along with a couple of other outcomes.

If Golden State (43-35) falls to LA, it would be locked to a play-in game. The same can happen if the New Orleans Pelicans defeat the lowly Portland Trail Blazers and either the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers or the Sacramento Kings beat the Oklahoma City Thunder.

So, basically, the Warriors must handle business in SoCal and need some help from the Trail Blazers, along with the Clippers or Thunder.

The Warriors lost their first matchup with the Lakers in January but won the next two. The teams are familiar with each other not just because of their Western Conference rivalry, but also because of the spicy Steph Curry-LeBron James matchups that date to their Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Final feuds.

Now with James on a different team on a different coast, the rivalry only has intensified, regardless of the well-known respect both superstars have for each other.

But with the stakes never higher, no one will have time to play Mr. Nice Guy inside Arena on Tuesday, as both teams fight for postseason positioning with just a handful of regular-season games remaining.

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