The Docket 1/26: Testy Western Powers Collide At Oracle


November 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12, third from left) fights with Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Trail Blazers defeated the Warriors 113-101. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Monday Lookahead
Kings at Utah, 6 p.m.

Los Angeles at Sharks, 7 p.m.

USC at Stanford, 6 p.m.