Every game counts for playoff-hungry Warriors

Just over an hour before the Warriors tipped off against Sacramento on Wednesday, a backroom off the Warriors locker room erupted into cheers. Moments later, several players exited looking like they’d just won something.

In a way, they had.

Utah, part of a group of six teams contending for the final three playoff spots in the Western Conference, just put the finishing touches on a collapse at Cleveland, which allowed Golden State to extend its lead over the Jazz to 2.5 games later in the night.

Being in contention for the postseason has turned the Warriors into fans of teams they’d usually have no interest in monitoring.

“It’s a little bit of a different mindset,” All-Star forward David Lee said. “We’re watching Utah play and we’re watching Houston play before our games start and the Lakers play. We’re all excited about the outcomes of those games and we’re rooting for teams in the Eastern Conference.”

– Reported by Kyle Bonagura of CSN Bay Area