The Golden State Warriors are hoping to rely on their home-court advantage to boost themselves into the postseason.

The Warriors open a crucial three-game homestand Tuesday when they face the Sacramento Kings.

Golden State (46-31) is tied with Denver for eighth place in the Western Conference. The Warriors and Nuggets, who own an eight-game lead over 10th-place Portland, each have five games remaining.

Golden State plays four of those games at home, where it is 25-12 and has won seven of nine. The Warriors are returning to Oracle Arena after a 1-3 road trip, capped by Sunday's 108-96 loss in New Orleans.

"The season's almost over, so there's no need to change anything now. There's no need to," said Stephen Jackson, who was held to six points by the conference-leading Hornets. "We just have to find a way to win.

"It's real simple, there's no need to start finding a reason why we lost three on this trip. There's no reason to try to make up something. We just have to shoot better, we shoot better and we win. It's that simple."

Monta Ellis had 35 points and 10 rebounds, but the Warriors were held more than 14 points under their season scoring average. Golden State, which failed to reach triple digits in each of its last three losses, has scored at least 100 points in all but one of its 46 wins.

"They beat us, they played better than we did, and there you have it," coach Don Nelson said. "I have no problem with the effort. I have a problem with the some of the shot selections. We were shooting too many 3s when the ball's not going - too many early 3s."

The Warriors will open their homestand against a Kings team they have defeated in the last three meetings in Oakland, and seven of nine.

Sacramento (36-41) had its four-game winning streak snapped Sunday, falling 114-92 to the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Lakers. The loss came one night after the Kings beat the Nuggets 118-115 despite playing without injured starters Ron Artest, Brad Miller and Beno Udrih.

Artest returned against the Lakers and had 19 points on 7-of-20 shooting, but Miller missed his second straight game with a lower leg strain. Udrih was out for the 10th time in 11 games with a lower back strain.

"Fatigue is not a factor in the NBA," Artest said. "The (second unit) played great. It was good for their confidence. They will be that much more experienced and ready."

Kevin Martin had 22 points and hit his 482nd free throw of the season late in the third quarter, breaking his own Sacramento record for free throws made.

"We ran out of gas," Martin said. "They came in here with some rested legs. We played a hard-fought game last night with only seven or eight players. You can't always say that's an excuse, but you can just tell we ran out of gas."


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