The Golden State Warriors are one of the NBA's worst road teams, but if they finish their current trip the same way they started it, they could be on their way to securing their first playoff berth in 13 years.

The Warriors continue their push for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference as they visit the last-place Memphis Grizzlies on Friday in the second game of a three-game trip.

In the opener of the trip, Golden State (36-39) improved to 9-28 away from home with a 110-99 win over Houston on Wednesday. It was only the Warriors' third road victory this season over a team that currently has a winning record.

"We needed to beat a good team on the road and it couldn't have come at a better time," coach Don Nelson said.

Despite their road struggles, the Warriors have won 10 of 14 since a season-high six-game losing streak to pull into ninth place in the West, 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jason Richardson scored 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers Wednesday as the Warriors made 16 shots from beyond the arc, two shy of their season high. Golden State also forced 24 turnovers while only committing 11 - its second-best turnover margin this season - en route to its third straight win.

"We've still got seven more games we need to fight and win," Richardson said. "We are having fun with it, we're celebrating. But we've got to keep fighting."

The Warriors will put their win streak on the line against a Memphis team that is tied for the fewest home wins in the NBA. The Grizzlies (19-57) are 12-25 at FedEx Forum, where they have lost three in a row.

Memphis, though, put up a good fight in its 116-111 loss to Pacific Division champion Phoenix on Tuesday. The Grizzlies cut a 14-point third-quarter deficit to one entering the fourth before losing their third straight game after winning back-to-back contests for the first time this season.

"It's hard to lose when you play hard, but at least you know when you come out next time, that's the effort you're going to get," coach Tony Barone said. "These guys have not quit."

Memphis has the worst record in the NBA, but its young players are getting a chance to develop. Second-year forward Hakim Warrick had 22 points and 16 rebounds Tuesday, while rookies Rudy Gay and Tarence Kinsey combined for 24 points. Gay is averaging 15.0 points over his last six games, and Kinsey is averaging 18.1 in his last seven.

"I think our young guys are getting more comfortable and confident out there," said Pau Gasol, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday. "And they are producing much more because they're getting a lot of playing time."

The Grizzlies have been without Mike Miller for the last six games. Miller, the team's second-leading scorer, is battling knee tendinitis and might not return this season.

Memphis has lost two straight against Golden State after winning five in a row in the series. Richardson had 26 points to lead six Warriors in double figures in Golden State's 122-117 win last Sunday.

The Warriors conclude their trip Saturday in San Antonio, where they have lost 18 straight since a 108-94 win on Feb. 14, 1997.


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