OAKLAND -- The Warriors, beaten up at a time when every game matters, needed a night of euphoria. They got one Friday night.
It was delivered courtesy of the Kings, who usually give the Warriors fits.
Not this time. The Warriors took command early and dominated throughout a 102-69 victory at Oracle Arena. Every healthy body played, everybody contributed and everybody felt fantastic afterward.
[RECAP: Warriors 102, Kings 69]
Which is as it should be for Warriors team with the easiest remaining schedule among the five clubs battling for the final four Western Conference playoff berths. For the Warriors (47-29), this was the first of the season-ending seven-game stretch that will dictate their postseason position.
[RELATED: NBA standings]
"You look at the games ahead and this was a game that we had to get," coach Mark Jackson said. "At times this year we haven't beaten teams that we should have in our building. ... We understood what we had to do tonight and the guys deserve a lot of credit."
The Warriors quickly built a 20-point lead (35-15, early second quarter) and outscored the Kings 59-27 in the first half, turning the second half into an exhibition. They led by as much as 42 in their second-largest win ever against Sacramento.
And all the work was done without starting big men Andrew Bogut and David Lee, both of whom are sidelined with injuries and were restricted to cheerleading on a night on which there was much to cheer.
"One thing we always said is the 'next-man-up' mentality," said forward Draymond Green. "For two guys to be out and us to put up a win like that, especially when you've got a team with a DeMarcus Cousins, who can dominate a basketball game ... to be able to do that with our two starting bigs out was pretty impressive."
The Kings (27-49) were a much-needed tonic in the wake of a two-game road trip on which the Warriors split, winning at Dallas on Tuesday before losing at San Antonio on Wednesday.
"We had to come home and bounce back," Marreese Speights said, "so it feels good to win at home like this."
The victory gave the Warriors a perfect (8-0) home record against Pacific Division opponents for the first time in franchise history. It gave them a season sweep of the Kings for the first time since 1991-92, and it allowed them to equal the 47 wins they earned last season.
"I've just got a feeling we'll win more games than we did last year," Jackson cracked. "I've got a strong feeling about that."
With the postseason looming and six games to play, five against sub-.500 opponents, three of them at Oracle, the coach is making a fairly safe prediction.
THE GOOD: Andre Iguodala, who sat out Wednesday's game at San Antonio to rest his ailing right knee, returned to the lineup. He was effective (four points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals) and, best of all, was needed for only 17 minutes.
Harrison Barnes, mired in a prolonged slump, was lively and productive: 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block.
With Speights and Green each grabbing 10 rebounds, the Warriors owned the glass, 58-44. Jermaine O'Neal pulled nine boards, and had 13 points, in 23 minutes.
THE BAD: Steve Blake failed to make a shot for the fourth straight game (0-for-2 on Friday, 0-of-10 since March 28). It went unnoticed, perhaps because it hurt nothing.
THE TAKE: The Warriors took advantage of a team that showed almost zero competitive zeal -- as they should do on their home court in April. It strengthens their hold on the No. 6 seed and puts them 11/2 games behind No. 5 seed Portland. Moreover, this romp allowed Jackson to rest his starters, while allowing his reserves to get valuable time. And maybe it will give Barnes, shooting 28 percent since February, a shot of confidence.