3 keys to victory for Golden State Warriors ahead of play-in clash vs. Kings

Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors
Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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2. Close out defensive possessions

It's one thing to play solid defense for 24 seconds and force your opponent into a low-percentage shot. Securing the defensive rebound and closing out the possession is an entirely different story.

With their season hanging in the balance, the Warriors will have to pour every ounce of their energy into keeping Kings' big man Domantas Sabonis off of the offensive glass, as the 6'10 forward has the power to singlehandedly turn the tide of a game through hard work and relentlessness on the interior.

Despite an average height of around 6'5, the Golden State Warriors managed to haul in 46.7 rebounds per game, tied with the Boston Celtics for the best mark in the NBA. It's a testament to the team's grit and determination, which they'll need to steal a must-win game in enemy territory.

Warrior fans will remember Kevon Looney's herculean effort on the glass against the Kings in Game 7 of last year's first round, pulling down 21 rebounds to help the Warriors advance to the Western Conference semifinals. While his minutes have fluctuated over the last two months, Looney has faired well against Sabonis in the past, and coach Kerr could use his interior savvy in this matchup.

Regardless of whether it's Draymond Green, Kevon Looney or Trayce Jackson-Davis, the Warriors present the size and athleticism to bother the Lithuanian, and it will be crucial to keep a body attached to him at all times, limiting his chances at easy buckets around the rim.