Programming note: Lakers-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 7 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – The Warriors believe they rediscovered the best of themselves in a rout of a hapless Knicks team on Saturday and will seek to duplicate the performance Monday night against a Lakers team on pace to be the worst in Los Angeles history.
The key for the Warriors, who lead the Western Conference, may be staying on task. Their showdown with the Atlanta Hawks, who lead the Eastern Conference, is set for Wednesday.
First things first, though, and the Warriors (52-13) know better than to take the Lakers (17-47) for granted. LA smoked them in their last meeting on Dec. 23 at Staples Center.
This game will be at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have been practically invincible. They're 29-2 at home, with an average win margin of an astounding 15.5 points.
Warriors by 18
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Andrew Bogut vs. Jordan Hill -- Hill is one of those lottery picks who failed to reach All-Star status. There are nights, however, when he is a force in the paint. Bogut is more than capable of containing him but must match his intensity on the glass.
David Lee/Marreese Speights vs. Ed Davis/Carlos Boozer -- Though he usually comes off the bench, Davis has been the Lakers' most efficient player. Boozer is past his prime but still can be a load on the block. Lee and Speights are capable of pulling defenders out of the paint.
KEYS TO VICTORY
1) Stay focused -- The Warriors can't avoid thinking about the showdown with the Hawks. For this day and night, though, they must fixate on the Lakers.
2) Clean the glass -- The Lakers neither defend nor shoot well, but they are playing hard. One place where the effort manifests itself is in their rebounding.
Warriors 8-2, Lakers 3-7.
Warriors: C Ognjen Kuzmic (right shoulder bone contusion) is out.
Lakers: G Kobe Bryant (right rotator cuff surgery), G Steve Nash (sciatic pain), G Nick Young (sore left knee), G Ronnie Price (right elbow surgery) and F Julius Randle (right tibia fracture) are listed as out.
The Warriors recalled James Michael McAdoo from Santa Cruz. The power forward registered 16 points and five rebounds against the Nuggets last Friday night, and was assigned to Santa Cruz the next day.
The Warriors have won two of three meetings this season. They have beaten the Lakers four consecutive times at Oracle, by an average of 19.8 points. The Warriors are bidding to win the series in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1995.