OAKLAND -- The standing ovations are done. The bottled water celebration in the locker room is over. The beards have been shaved.

Having clinched a playoff spot, the Warriors turn their attention to the next goal: keeping the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.

"With the position we're in now, if we keep that six seed it probably means we won three of our last four and we're playing good basketball," said point guard Stephen Curry, among the happiest Warriors to end the no-shave pact. "So it kind of goes hand in hand with us being where we want to be going into our first series, no matter who we play."

The Warriors have been on a kick to close the season playing their best. Peaking at the right time is how coach Mark Jackson puts it. The reality is the Warriors' best chance at advancing past the first round is to stay where they are in the standings.

They woke up Wednesday with five possible first-round opponents. And, clearly, the options at No. 6 are better. So holding off Houston, which is a game behind the Warriors, is a priority.

Falling to No. 7 means facing either Oklahoma City or San Antonio, owners of two of the best three records in the NBA. The two powerhouses are jockeying for the top spot. The loser faces the No. 7 seed. Golden State doesn't match up well with either.


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"Just win as many games as we can, take care of our business, and that will play itself out," Jackson said. "We want to be healthy. We want to be playing good basketball. I think whoever is laying in front of us, we'll be just fine. But it's taking care of our own business first."

Staying at the No. 6 spot presents much more palatable options, though still difficult. Entering Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets held the No. 3 seed. They are relatively impossible to beat in Denver, where they are an NBA-best 35-3 on their home court. But they lost starting forward Danilo Gallinari to a torn ACL, and starting point guard Ty Lawson hasn't played since March 27 because of a heel injury. So the Nuggets may be vulnerable.

The Memphis Grizzlies also could wind up with the No. 3 seed. The Warriors went 0-3 against Memphis, a big and physical team that gives Golden State fits.

But the three games were all close, and Memphis has its flaws. The Grizzlies are 26th in the league in scoring average (93.6 points per game), so if the Warriors can speed up the pace, they can present problems for the Grizzlies.

One of the best matchups available to the Warriors would be the Los Angeles Clippers. They entered Wednesday two games out of the No. 3 spot, but many Warriors fans are hoping they rally.

Golden State is 3-1 against the Clippers. The Warriors' strengths -- guard play, power forward, deep bench -- match up well against the Clippers.

But priority No. 1 is staying at No. 6.

The Warriors must stay ahead of Houston because the Rockets own the tiebreaker, having won 3 of 4 against Golden State. But Houston has the more friendly schedule.

The Rockets host Memphis on Friday and Sacramento on Sunday. They go to Phoenix on Monday and close the season at the Lakers on Wednesday.

Golden State hosts Oklahoma City on Thursday then visits the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. The Warriors come home to play the Spurs on Monday before Wednesday's season finale at Portland.

The likelihood is the Warriors will have to win at least two of their last four games. So Golden State won't be able to take its foot off the pedal.

"We still have work to be done," Jackson said. "We have a mission. Our goal wasn't to win 40-something games or get into the playoffs. It's bigger."