The State of Play for Golden State Warriors on Eve of Postseason

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors missed a pivotal opportunity on Friday, falling to a Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks team after a go-ahead basket from PJ Washington in the final five seconds.

After trailing by nine with less than four minutes remaining, the Warriors fought back and tied the scores through a Stephen Curry jumpshot in the final 15 seconds. Washington had been a headache for Golden State throughout the entire game, and the final of his game-high 32 points proved the difference after Klay Thompson missed a game-winning attempt at the buzzer.

The Golden State Warriors remain two games behind in their fight to earn a top eight seed in the Western Conference

The Warriors had entered on the back of a six-game winning-streak, helping to stave off the Houston Rockets' charge for the tenth-seed. Yet all of a sudden the recent form had revitalized Golden State's chances of moving up the standings, giving Friday's game even greater significance.

Earlier results went the Warriors way, with the Sacramento Kings losing by a point in Boston and the New Orleans Pelicans suffering a shock defeat at home to the San Antonio Spurs. Yet instead of inching within touching distance of the Kings, Golden State made their task nigh on impossible after their loss to the Mavericks.

They're still two games back from the eighth-seed Kings and ninth-seed Los Angeles Lakers, while they're three games back from the seventh-seed Pelicans. Time is officially running out for the Warriors, with Friday's game a gilt-edged opportunity gone missing.

Steve Kerr
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Having completed a period of seven road games over the last eight, Golden State will now have three of their last five games back home at Chase Center. Their schedule is good, including two home games against the Utah Jazz who have seemingly put the cue in the rack with 10-straight losses and 13 in their last 14.

Games against the Pelicans and Lakers will prove ever so critical in any slim chance of rising up the standings, while the Warriors will also enter as heavy favorites when they visit Portland to take on the 21-56 Trail Blazers.

Golden State will desperately need other results to go their way, starting with Los Angeles who open a three-game home-stand against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday before facing the Timberwolves and Warriors. They'll finish the season as heavy favorites in Memphis, before closing with the Pelicans in New Orleans.

An injury-plagued Kings have stumbled with four losses in their last six games, with the franchise visiting Brooklyn and Oklahoma City before home games against the Pelicans, Suns and Trail Blazers.

There remains a high likelihood that the Warriors will need to win two Play-In games to reach a playoff spot, but there's now a distinct possibility that the first of those will come against the Kings. After a classic first-round series last year, it's a position both teams will be disappointed in as we enter the final stretch of the regular season.