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Warriors play host to nemesis Grizzlies

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors embark on another rough stretch of games on Sunday night when they host one of the four teams that have beaten them at home this season, the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Warriors (58-14), whose 30-4 home record is the best in the league, are battling the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the NBA and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

The clubs meet one final time Wednesday in San Antonio, with the Spurs having clinched the season series by winning both previous meetings this season.

One of those wins came in Oakland, where the Grizzlies used a late rally to force overtime en route to a stunning 128-119 win of their own on Jan. 6.

A third team that has beaten the Warriors on their home floor, the Houston Rockets, gets two cracks at Golden State in the next six days, including a Friday rematch in Oakland of a double-overtime victory in December.

The rugged four-game sequence -- at home against Memphis, at Houston and San Antonio on a back-to-back, then back home against Houston -- should go a long way toward determining the Warriors' playoff seeding.

There will be only six games remaining in the regular season after the second Houston game.

"I'm excited; a lot of great teams coming up," Warriors coach Steve Kerr insisted after Friday's 114-100 home win over Sacramento. "The Grizzlies came in here and beat us last time they were in the building with that big comeback.

"Then on the road against the teams with the two best records in the West besides us. A big challenge."

It starts with Memphis, which trailed by 24 points in its January visit before outscoring the Warriors 32-13 in the fourth quarter to get even, then 17-8 in the extra five-minute session.

The Grizzlies enter Oakland on a roller-coaster ride. They have followed five straight losses with four consecutive wins, after which they've lost their last two.

The difference in the last six games? The Memphis offense.

While the Grizzlies have given up between 91 and 97 points in the six games, they've scored an average of 104.5 in the four wins, but only 86.0 in the two losses.

"If we're going to do anything in the playoffs, it's going to be as a team on both ends of the floor," star center Marc Gasol told reporters after Thursday's 97-90 loss in San Antonio. "We have to be more consistent."

Among the most inconsistent of late has been point guard Mike Conley, star of Memphis' win at Golden State in January. He had 27 points, including the game-tying jumper at the end of regulation, in that game.

Conley has shot only 13 for 32, including 3 of 14 from 3-point range, during the Grizzlies' two-game losing streak.

Memphis (40-32) resides in the No. 7 playoff position in the West.

The Grizzlies also own a 110-89 home win over the Warriors in December, but got swamped 122-107 in Memphis when they went for a hat trick against Golden State in February.

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