With about 1 1/2 minutes remaining in the Warriors' 105-89 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night, the 30th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena started chanting, "Playoffs." Let that sink in. The underdog and overlooked Warriors (45-33) won six games out of their past eight to clinch their first playoff berth since 2007 and will make the franchise's second postseason appearance in 19 seasons. "We celebrated, and rightfully so," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said, still red-eyed from leading an emotional postgame locker-room party. "People questioned us, and they should have. People doubted us, and they should have. "But they underestimated the heart, the desire, the work ethic, the determination, the willingness to put in the time and then the favor of God." When they last made the playoffs six years ago, only five Warriors were in the NBA and five were still in high school. Harrison Barnes was just learning to walk when the Warriors made their previous playoff appearance in 1994. But now they have Stephen Curry, who went into takeover mode, scoring 11 points during a Warriors' 21-6 third-quarter run that turned a one-point deficit into an 80-66 lead. Now they have Klay Thompson, who carried the Warriors until that point, having scored 25 first-half points and then having ignited the run by frustrating Luke Ridnour into a technical foul. With the postseason a certainty, the Warriors can focus on playoff positioning in the final four games. If they can hold on to the sixth seed, they would likely play Denver in the first round - skipping the mighty top seeds San Antonio and Oklahoma City. The Warriors are one game ahead of seventh-place Houston, four games ahead of the eighth-place Lakers and 4 1/2 games ahead of ninth-place Utah. "I told them, 'Don't you dare go to the baggage claim, because this is just a layover. This is not our final destination,' " Jackson said.
Warriors beat T'wolves, clinch playoffs
San Francisco Chronicle | Apr 10