OAKLAND -- Steve Blake has played on six playoff teams, and since coming to the Warriors in a trade last month, he has noticed his new teammates have the right mentality to succeed.

"Guys are locked in, always holding each other accountable to stay ready whether it's a nationally televised game or not," Blake said Saturday. "That mentality of really wanting to be successful, they definitely have it, so it's nice to be a part of that."

True to form, when asked about facing Western Conference playoff contenders Phoenix and Dallas in the next two games, Blake and Andrew Bogut would only discuss the Suns game Sunday.

The Warriors, who have won eight of 10 games since the All-Star break and are a season-high 15 games over .500, have the No. 6 seed in the conference and stand two games ahead of both Phoenix and Dallas for the final three playoff spots.

"I don't really think about the next couple of games," Bogut said. "I think the focus for us is the next game. I'm not focused on the standings right now."

Coach Mark Jackson, who already considers the Warriors a playoff team, said the game against Phoenix was both "big-time" and "huge."

After all, Golden State would like to extend that lead on Phoenix in hopes of maintaining an eventual playoff seed that would enable the Warriors to avoid Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the first round of the postseason.

"Good teams will be going home in the first round, and it won't be a disappointment," Jackson said of the general playoff picture. "It's going to be the result of a loaded Western Conference."

Said Blake: "It's going to be important for us to get this win. They're a team that's right there neck-and-neck with us, so it means a lot."

The surprising Suns, who have won three of their past four games after knocking off the Thunder at home Thursday, present a difficult matchup for the Warriors having already beaten them twice in three meetings this season.

Guard Goran Dragic scored a career-high 34 points a month ago in the Suns' 122-109 win over the Warriors in Phoenix, and since then, he has notched a 35-point game against Houston and a 40-point game against New Orleans.

"We're not going to surrender anything to Dragic," Jackson said when asked about his defense possibly focusing on Dragic's teammates instead. "He's a heck of a basketball player, and he creates a lot of problems. We want to make life tough for him, and we want to be able to defend the other guys.

"The best defensive teams have been embarrassed trying to defend them."

Phoenix guard Gerald Green scored a career-high 41 points against Oklahoma City, and the Suns also expect to get guard Eric Bledsoe back from injury after facing the Warriors to further help their transition attack.

Bogut said he sensed opponents now enter games having respect for the Warriors defense, which is holding opponents to 41.5 percent from the field since the All-Star break for the second-best mark in the NBA.

"Hopefully, they don't," Bogut said. "It's better for us. Hopefully they come in and think it's going to be a high-scoring game because a lot of times it's not."

Phoenix has a brutal schedule down the stretch, with 14 of its final 21 games coming on the road.

The Warriors' schedule is more favorable, but they will face four Western Conference playoff contenders in five of their games over the next eight days. After taking on Phoenix, there's a back-to-back against Dallas and at the Los Angeles Clippers before a home game against Cleveland and a road game at Portland.

"Just the next game is what's most important, not even looking past that," Blake said.

Said Jackson: "Our mindset is to continue to win ballgames and let the chips fall where they may.

"We're at a place where we're attempting to turn the corner and continue to get better. We're not a team figuring out what it takes to finish out a season. We know now."

  • Guard Klay Thompson practiced the day after suffering a lower back strain in a win over the Atlanta Hawks, and Jackson expects Thompson will be able to play against Phoenix after continuing to receive treatment.

    Thompson, who missed the second half for precautionary reasons, has never missed a game in his three-year NBA career and will have his availability confirmed by Jackson on Sunday.

    "I think he just had a bit of a back spasm when he landed on his back," Bogut said. "I think he's going to be fine. I think it's nothing too serious."

    For more on the Warriors, see the Inside the Warriors blog at ibabuzz.com/warriors. Follow Diamond Leung on Twitter at twitter.com/diamond83.

    SUNDAY'S GAME
    Phoenix (36-25) at Warriors (39-24), 6 p.m. CSNBA