The Golden State Warriors have been in a bit of a defensive funk of late.
How funky? After spending much of the season ranked as one of the NBA’s top-five defenses in terms of points per 100 possessions, the Dubs have been lit up for more than 120 points in three of their last five games, including 121 in a one-point loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
Think about that one: The Warriors (26-18) have surrendered more than 120 points in a game four times all season—three of them within the last 11 days.
The Portland Trail Blazers (33-11), who equaled their 2012-13 win total of 33 in Saturday night’s win over the Timberwolves—their 44th game of the year—make their second and final venture to Oracle Arena Sunday evening. The Blazers posted a 113-101 in their first visit on Nov. 23–a game that got a bit testy–and the teams will play twice in Portland (March 16 and April 13).
Golden State is 63-40 against Portland since 1971-72, the Dubs’ first full year in Oakland. The Warriors haven’t been swept in two games by the Trail Blazers since 2001-02 and have won four of the last six meetings between the teams at “Roaracle.”
The rest of The Docket for Sunday includes:
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Stanford Cardinal (12-6) at USC Trojans (10-9), 2 p.m.
The Cardinal arrive at the Galen Center with a 3-3 Pac-12 mark after losing at UCLA on Thursday night, while the Trojans picked up their first conference win of the season Wednesday night against Cal and are now 1-5 in league play.
USC leads the all-time series 123-120 and swept last season’s two meetings, including a 71-69 win at home on Jan. 3, 2013. Stanford’s last win over the Trojans in L.A. was a 59-47 triumph on Feb. 12, 2012.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Cal Golden Bears (14-5) at UCLA Bruins (15-4), 5 p.m.
The Golden Bears (5-1) took their first conference loss Wednesday at USC and will be looking to bounce back, while the Bruins (4-2) will be looking to forge a second-place tie in the Pac-12 behind unbeaten Arizona.
UCLA leads the all-time series 133-101 and split with Cal last season. The Golden Bears lost in L.A. 79-65 on Jan. 3, 2013, but won a 73-63 decision there on Feb. 11, 2012.
NBA: Denver Nuggets (21-21) at Sacramento Kings (15-27), 6 p.m.
The Nuggets return to Sleep Train Arena for the first time since a 90-88 loss on opening night, Oct. 30. The Kings will be looking to secure the season series with a win—the teams meet just once more this season, in Denver on Feb. 23.
The win back in October snapped a string of four straight losses at home to the Nuggets for the Kings, who are 42-16 against Denver at home since moving to Sacramento in 1985.
Sacramento might get Rudy Gay back Sunday night after he sat out Friday’s overtime loss to the Pacers with a strained Achilles, but DeMarcus Cousins will not go for the Kings because of a sprained ankle.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: UCLA Bruins (10-10) at Cal Golden Bears (13-5), 6 p.m.
The Golden Bears will be looking for a split against the Southland schools after losing to USC Friday night to fall to 5-2 in Pac-12 play. The Bruins were hammered at Stanford and fell to 4-4 in the league.
The Bruins have a 47-17 edge in the all-time series, but Cal took two of three last season, including a 70-65 win at Haas Pavilion on Jan. 20, 2013.
Kings at Utah, 6 p.m.
Los Angeles at Sharks, 7 p.m.
USC at Stanford, 6 p.m.