A 48-win season usually means a postseason trip for most teams. Despite the Golden State Warriors having one more chance to increase that total, all they can look forward to after Wednesday night is a chair waiting for them during the NBA's draft lottery.
Golden State closes its season against the Seattle SuperSonics, who may be playing the final game in club history before moving to Oklahoma.
The Warriors' hopes of reaching the playoffs for a second straight year officially ended Monday with a 122-116 loss at Phoenix.
"It's disappointing," said Monta Ellis, who scored 20 points. "We left it all on the court and we played hard to the end."
With one more victory, Golden State (48-33) will tie the 1971-72 Suns for the best record ever among non-playoff teams.
Last season, the Warriors went 42-40 to enter the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. In its first postseason series in 13 years, Golden State completed one of the most stunning upsets in NBA history by defeating top-seeded Dallas in six games.
Regardless of Wednesday's outcome, the Warriors will have their highest win total since the 1993-94 team posted 50.
Ellis is averaging a career-high 20.2 points to rank second on the team behind Baron Davis (21.9), who was benched by coach Don Nelson for the entire second half Monday after shooting 2-for-13 and scoring seven points in 17 minutes.
"I gave Baron a much-needed rest the second half," Nelson said while Davis left without speaking to reporters.
The oft-injured Davis is the only Golden State player to appear in all 81 games.
The SuperSonics (19-62), meanwhile, already have been assured of the worst record in their 41-year history, and will face an offseason full of uncertainty.
On Friday, NBA owners are scheduled to vote on owner Clay Bennett's proposed relocation of the team to Oklahoma City. Despite the recent release of e-mails Bennett exchanged in 2007 with partners about moving the team before exhausting all efforts to acquire a new arena in Seattle, commissioner David Stern remains convinced that a good-faith effort was made to keep the team there.
A trial is scheduled for June concerning the city of Seattle's lawsuit to enforce the final two years of the team's lease at KeyArena through 2010.
If this is the Sonics' final season in the Pacific Northwest, they gave their fans one last thrill, erasing a six-point deficit in the final three minutes to defeat playoff-bound Dallas 99-95 on Sunday.
"It's been a hard year and to have some success sometimes, it surprises you, you do get a little emotional," said Nick Collison, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Seattle. "It's been a tough year and some of the extra stuff has been kind of tough. ... But it was a lot of fun. It shows it would be a shame if basketball wasn't here."
Kevin Durant scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half for Seattle, which snapped a three-game skid.
The Sonics haven't had consecutive wins since a season-high three-game run from Jan. 29-Feb. 2. They've also lost 12 straight games away from home en route to an NBA-worst 6-34 road mark.
Seattle has dropped four straight overall to the Warriors, and is 1-8 in its last nine visits to Oracle Arena.
Durant, the likely NBA Rookie of the Year, leads all first-year players with 20.0 points per game - 9.7 more than teammate Jeff Green, who's fourth. In two losses to the Warriors, though, Green has totaled 34 points, seven more than Durant.
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