Prolific offense has given the Golden State Warriors a shot at the playoffs. Poor defense has kept the Sacramento Kings out of contention, and now their best defender is hurting.

The Warriors look to take advantage of the lowly Kings, who may be without defensive stopper Ron Artest when the teams conclude their season series Friday night.

Golden State (38-40), second in the NBA with 105.9 points per game, is coming off a 126-102 win over Utah on Monday night that moved it into eighth place in the Western Conference. The Warriors, though, found themselves tied for the spot after the Los Angeles Clippers overcame 50 points from Kobe Bryant to beat the Lakers 118-110 on Thursday night.

"It's still out of our hands, basically," Golden State coach Don Nelson said of the team's attempt to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 years. "It doesn't mean anything. We have to not get too high on the highs and too low on the lows. We just have to take care of our business."

The Warriors, winners of five of six, have a good chance to help their playoff hopes as they play a Kings team that has lost 14 of 18 and allowed 106.6 points per game during that stretch. Sacramento is giving up 102.4 points a contest on the season.

Artest, who leads the NBA with 2.1 steals per game, is questionable for Friday with a sore left hamstring. He did not play in Sacramento's 109-100 loss at San Antonio on Wednesday night.

Golden State, though, had two of its best offensive games of the season with Artest in the Kings' lineup. The Warriors shot 57.7 percent in a 117-105 win Nov. 16, and 53.1 percent in a 126-113 victory Dec. 12.

Sacramento (32-46), though, won the last meeting, 119-96 on Dec. 30.

Stephen Jackson scored 28 points and Baron Davis added 19 for the Warriors on Monday. Davis had 36 points in Golden State's first game against Sacramento but was held to 14 and eight, respectively, in the last two.

Davis' stellar performance in the Nov. 16 matchup, which included a career-high 18 assists, came with Sacramento center Brad Miller sidelined with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Miller is questionable for Friday with the same injury, and he has missed 14 games this season because of the problem.

Miller played 9 minutes in the first quarter against the Spurs before sitting out the rest of the game.

Sacramento, occupying the Pacific Division cellar, has lost six of its last eight at home after winning eight of its previous nine there.

"We've got a lot of guys with a lot of pride on this team - pride in this town - and nobody is really pleased with the situation we are in," Kings forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim said. "We just need to go out there and finish the right way."


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