Golden State 140, Sacramento 132

OAKLAND, Calif., April 8 (AP) -- Another record-breaking offensive performance kept the Golden State Warriors neck-and-neck in the Western Conference's sprint to the playoffs.

If the Warriors don't pick up the pace on defense, Don Nelson isn't sure they can win this race for eighth place.

Baron Davis had 33 points and nine assists, Stephen Jackson added 20 points and the Warriors stayed in a tie with Denver for the West's final berth in their highest-scoring game of the season, a 140-132 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

Andris Biedrins had 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Warriors (47-31) as they kept pace in the power-packed West, where one club is certain to end up with the best record in NBA history for a non-playoff team. The Nuggets, who beat the Clippers 117-99, visit Golden State on Thursday night for a meeting that could determine the fates of the NBA's two highest-scoring teams.

Nelson knows his team is another prototype of his long line of offensive juggernauts that play awfully small on the other end. The Warriors' strengths and deficiencies both were painfully obvious against the Kings, who also had their highest-scoring game of the season despite missing starters Ron Artest and Brad Miller.

"It's hard to be disappointed when you win and you score 140 points, but we're going to have to start guarding people a lot better than we did tonight," Nelson said. "They have shot-makers, but it's hard to get a stop for us right now. ... I'm just going to accept this win as No. 47. We're probably going to need 50 to make the playoffs, or 51. I told our team we need to win them all."

Al Harrington scored 17 points and Monta Ellis had 16 as Golden State scored 39 first-quarter points and never trailed in its third win in four games against its Northern California rivals -- but the Warriors' shoddy defense never allowed them to open a big lead, either.

The Warriors warmed up for their showdown with Denver by putting on their usual offensive theatrics against Sacramento, including a 77-point first half. Davis had 20 points and eight assists as the Warriors racked up their highest-scoring 24 minutes of the season to take a lead they maintained throughout the second half, with C.J. Watson hitting a free throw in the final minute to push the Warriors to their highest point total this season.

"We need to be a lot sharper, but a win is a win," Jackson said. "We can't hope for something to get us going. We have to go anyway. We knew we had to win. Guys are starting to feel that sense of urgency, [but] we just need to feel that as a whole."

Francisco Garcia matched his career high with 31 points and Kevin Martin had 29 -- but just two in the fourth quarter -- for the Kings, who matched the Warriors' frenetic pace for much of an entertaining night. John Salmons added 22 points, but Sacramento is running out of healthy players in the final five games of its second straight season out of the playoffs.

"To lose a game by eight that's a must-win situation for them -- in their building, with a depleted roster -- I'm very happy with how we played tonight," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "You are watching [Garcia] and Kevin grow right in front of you. ... They're evolving in front of us, which is nice to see."

Before the game, Sacramento shut down Miller for the rest of the season with injuries in his left leg and right elbow. Artest also missed the game with a sprained thumb, while Beno Udrih returned to uniform after missing seven games with a strained lower back.

"If we could have rebounded better, we would have had a much better chance," Garcia said of the Kings' 48-31 rebounding deficit. "I'm proud of my guys. No matter who's out there on the floor, [we] just play hard. That's what the coach asks for, and when I'm out there I give it my all, and I want my teammates to do the same thing."

Warriors swingman Mickael Pietrus returned from a nine-game absence with a strained right groin. He had 10 points in 13 minutes, but he brought down the house with a soaring block of Martin's layup attempt in the final minutes -- and he did it again with a two-handed rebound dunk moments later.

Golden State, which already is assured of its best record since 1993-94, lost three of four games on a difficult road trip last week. But the Warriors, who snapped a 12-year playoff drought last spring, will finish the season with four of their last five games at home, where they've won eight of 10.

Game notes

Theus called a timeout 80 seconds into the game with his club down 6-0 after Mikki Moore got a technical foul for arguing. Moore eventually fouled out with just two points in 23 minutes. ... Davis and Nelson also got T's in the second quarter for arguing. ... Artest drew the Golden State crowd's ire for jumping up and pumping his fist to cheer on his teammates in the final minutes. Warriors fans booed him mercilessly.

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