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Wizards-Warriors Preview

Dec 17, 2009 - 6:46 PM By ANTHONY GIORNALISTA STATS Senior Writer

Washington (7-16) at Golden State (7-18), 10:30 p.m. EDT

The Washington Wizards have been coming up just short in their losses. The loss of players to injury is leaving the Golden State Warriors very short-handed.

The Wizards look to snap a six-game losing streak Friday night against a Warriors team that continues to contend with depth issues.

This is the second time this season Washington (7-16) has lost six in a row, but its current skid has been much more frustrating. The Wizards have lost each of their games by four points or less, including a 112-109 defeat at Sacramento on Wednesday night.

Washington, though, is still within reach of playoff position in a weak bottom half of the Eastern Conference.

"I told our guys we are going to make the playoffs," coach Flip Saunders told the Wizards' official Web site. "We are going to be playoff team. We are going to win anywhere from 42 to 50 games. It is just a matter of when we turn it around and everything starts clicking and we become more consistent over 48 minutes."

Washington continues to get strong performances from its top players. Gilbert Arenas had 33 points and Antawn Jamison added 30.

It was the third straight 30-point game for Jamison even though he was nursing a mild left shoulder strain he suffered in the second quarter. Jamison, averaging 22.1 points and 8.6 rebounds, isn't expected to miss any time.

Jamison is joined in the frontcourt by Brendan Haywood, who has been consistent at center. Haywood ranks among the league leaders with 10.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks a contest.

Golden State (7-18), meanwhile, is desperately thin at the position. The Warriors were already without starting center Andris Biedrins (back) and backup Ronny Turiaf (knee) before learning Mikki Moore will be out indefinitely after deciding to have surgery to remove bone spurs in his right heel.

Vladimir Radmanovic, a 6-foot-10 forward, started at center as the Warriors lost 103-91 to San Antonio on Wednesday night.

Golden State had nine players in uniform, one more than the league minimum. The Warriors have lost four straight and eight of nine.

"Our players, our team, has been keeping each other up," Golden State forward Corey Maggette said. "You can go bonkers with all that's been going on, but everybody is helping each other out. Monta (Ellis) has been the leader and he's trying to bring this team together."

At least the Warriors have their coach back. Don Nelson was with the team again after missing a five-game road trip while he recored from pneumonia.

Despite Nelson's return, Golden State was out of sync offensively, scoring fewer than 96 points for the fourth time in six games. The Warriors are averaging 106.3 points on the season.

"I've been gone for some time (and) I think my play-calling is a bit different," Nelson said. "I expect them to know the play calls and be where they're supposed to be."

Monta Ellis wasn't the problem versus the Spurs, scoring 35 points after being held to a season-low eight in a 117-101 loss to Philadelphia on Monday night. The fifth-year guard has scored 30 points or more in seven of his last 14 contests.

Ellis missed both of Golden State's matchups with Washington last season due to an ankle injury. Both teams won a game at home.