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Golden State Warriors Game 6 Is First Do-Or-Die

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GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
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OAKLAND -- Backs to the wall. Do or die. Must-win game. Pull out any of the cliches of a team facing elimination from the playoffs and the possibility of the season's sudden end and they are all applicable to the Warriors on Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

It's the first time this Golden State team has been in that position in the postseason, so the goals in Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs are self-evident to many of the players.

"This is one of those games where you win or you go home, almost like an NCAA tournament game," said forward Carl Landry. "We have to go out there and not take any possessions off, and after the game, we shouldn't have anything left. We shouldn't be able to walk to our cars. It should all be left on the court."

The Warriors haven't faced an elimination game at home since 1994, when a team led by Latrell Sprewell and Chris Webber was swept in three games of a best-of-5 in the opening round against the Phoenix Suns.

The last time they faced home elimination in a seven-game set was more memorable. They trailed the Los Angeles Lakers 3-0 in the 1987 Western Conference semifinals, but Sleepy Floyd scored 29 fourth-quarter points to deliver a Warriors win before the Lakers closed it out in five games at The Forum.

There is precedent for the Warriors franchise trailing 3-2 in a seven-game series and coming back to win it by taking Game 6 at home and Game 7 on the road, but you have to go way back. The

Philadelphia Warriors accomplished the feat against the St. Louis Hawks -- in 1948.

Coach Mark Jackson thinks his team is capable of duplicating that 65-year-old feat, saying an upset of the second-seeded Spurs is still "very doable."

"I'm not worried about my guys," he said. "If you would have rewound this thing all the way back to Day 1 and said we'd have a Game 6 at home in the second round of the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs after defeating the No. 3 seed, we would have taken it.

"So we're thrilled about where we are. We don't want our backs against the wall, but this is where we are today. It's as simple of putting together 96 minutes of our brand of basketball."

--Center Andrew Bogut played a series low 20 minutes in Game 5 and appeared to be laboring physically, but he maintained his surgically repaired left ankle isn't bothering him.

Bogut played just six of his 20 minutes in the first half. He finished the game with just six rebounds and two points and did not block a shot.

Asked how he was feeling the day after, Bogut was brief.

"Pretty good," he said.

Asked a follow-up about whether the ankle was causing him problems during the game, he said, "No, it's fine. It'll be all right."

Moments later, one more question came about whether the long flight from San Antonio adversely affected his ankle.

"No," he said. "Anyone else want to ask a question about the ankle? The ankle's fine."

Jackson backed him up on that count, to some extent.

"Nobody's 100 percent on either team," Jackson said. "He's battling, he's grinding, he's giving us what he has. I think he's played extremely well, and that's part of the reason we are where we are today, and I expect him to do it again for 98 minutes."

--As for David Lee, his minutes continue to expand. Lee has appeared in three straight games and played 12 minutes in Game 5, the most he's logged since tearing his right hip flexor in Game 1 of the opening round against Denver.

"He's given us great minutes on the floor, he's given us a burst every time we've put him on the court," said Jackson. "I just want to continue to allow it to grow and see where it goes. But he will not be playing major minutes. That's not going to happen right now." ___

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