Sports

Home not so friendly to Warriors

OAKLAND -- The lasting image of the 2006-07 season was 20,000 fans swooning throughout Oracle Arena in rapturous delirium as the Golden State Warriors dismantled the Dallas Mavericks for arguably the biggest playoff upset in NBA history.

This season, there hasn't been as much to go crazy over.

The Warriors may have solved their perennial problems on the road, putting themselves on pace to tie the franchise's all-time record for wins in hostile territory. But they're not finding life at home quite so easy as in the past.

With an 8-7 record at Oracle, the Warriors are one of only four teams with a worse winning percentage at home than on the road -- the others being New Jersey, Orlando and New Orleans.

If Golden State is going to use its friendly February schedule -- nine home games and only one road contest -- to springboard past teams currently ahead of it in the Western Conference standings, then things at home could use some tightening up.

In order to make it back to the playoffs, the Warriors don't necessarily need to match last season's 30-11 home record. But anything less than 25 would imperil those playoff chances.

"I think we can do better," guard Kelenna Azubuike said. "We've just got to focus on protecting our home court. ... You've got to bring it every night or people will beat you at your own place."

When it comes to excuses, the Warriors have a pretty good one to explain losing their first four home games. They all took place without the presence of swingman Stephen Jackson, whose suspension was keenly felt.

"Our home record is not as good as we want it to be, but we lost our first four games there, so we've steadily been improving and we're just getting better," Warriors forward Matt Barnes said.

The fact that Golden State is 7-3 at home with Jackson gives the Warriors some confidence heading into their next home game -- Monday against the defending champs from San Antonio.

"We're in a good position," Warriors forward Al Harrington said. "We've got 26 games left at home, so if we take care of business from here on out, we'll finish with a pretty nice home record and a very nice record to end the season."

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