Warriors coach Mark Jackson received a handshake from co-owner Joe Lacob, and the two embraced after the final buzzer made it official. The Warriors are headed back to the playoffs, clinching a berth with a 112-95 win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday that gave Golden State cause for at least some celebration. "This year, we expected it going into the season," guard Stephen Curry said of securing a playoff spot. "It took longer than we'd liked to get it done, but we acknowledge it, obviously. You don't want to lose sight of how hard it is to get that done, but we have bigger things to worry about." Curry notched a triple-double in the win that sealed a level of success not seen by the organization in two decades. The Warriors will go to the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991-92. Jackson and some of his players had for weeks noted this team was something to be historically treasured despite the negative "chatter," coaching staff changes and injuries. "We are not that far removed from dreaming of this moment," Jackson said, noting how far the team had come after it was 23-43 two seasons ago, his first at the Warriors helm. "Obviously, it was different last year, but all we've been through individually and collectively, to fight, to battle to and find ourselves in the playoffs and continuing to chase down history says a lot about these guys." A night after the Warriors blew a chance to clinch at Oracle Arena when injury-plagued Denver pulled off a stunning 100-99 win, they traveled to Southern California and took care of business as Curry led them with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. Curry's fourth triple-double of the season was the most in the single season by a Warriors player since Wilt Chamberlain had five in 1963-64. The Warriors reached the 49-win mark with three regular-season games remaining as they continue to have a firm hold on the No. 6 seed in the conference. A return trip to Staples Center for a first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers is a strong possibility. The Lakers, playing without Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman and Steve Nash, lost their sixth game in a row. Curry, who tried to send the Warriors to the playoffs with a late-minute floater against Denver, went right at the Lakers from the start with 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting in the first half. Klay Thompson and Marreese Speights scored 16 points apiece. Steve Blake added 13 points and five assists against his former team. David Lee came off the bench in his return from injury to rack up 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Warriors went on a 15-5 run to finish the second quarter, with Curry scoring the last seven before they went into halftime with a 58-43 lead. Curry notched his 10th assist on a pass to Speights, whose jump shot pushed the Warriors' lead to 81-61 in the third quarter. One night after blowing a 20-point lead to Denver, the Warriors never allowed the Lakers to mount a serious comeback attempt in the second half. "Last year, no one expected us to win, so it was a very special moment for us," center Andrew Bogut said. "This year, everyone expected us to be here, so we don't have anything to celebrate right now."
Warriors beat Lakers, clinch playoff berth
Oakland Tribune | Apr 12