Klay Thompson scored 30 points, Stephen Curry scored 24 points with 10 assists, and the Golden State Warriors (45-33) knocked off the Minnesota Timberwolves (29-49) 105-98, clinching their second playoff berth in 19 seasons.
Chants of “Playoffs! Playoffs Playoffs” echoed throughout Oracle Arena‘s 30th consecutive sellout crowd. It was a moment that the Bay Area had been waiting for since 2007. With so many promises and hopeful seasons that led to lackadaisical performances and bad lottery picks, the Bay Area is happier than ever to have the one true franchise that can be called “The Bay’s Team” back in the playoffs.
Six painful years since the Baron Davis led “We Believe” team, it was hard for a realist to jump on the bandwagon and ever truly trust them. But led by Stephen Curry’s breakout season and All-Star David Lee, the Warriors were able to change the organization on and off of the court, and I am branding this squad as the “We Finally Believe” team. With Warriors fans being some of the greatest and most loyal fans in sports, supporting the team through thick and thin, Oracle Arena has gone from being the place to go, to the place to be.
On a night where the Houston Rockets also won, a Warriors win was also important to remain in the sixth seed. While the playoffs are clinched, the final four games are still just as important as ever. There will be no time to rest the starters in must win games vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Portland Trail Blazers. With the exception of Portland, the three other teams’ games will have playoff implications as well.
It will be quite the test for a young Golden State Warriors team with a core made up of mostly players that have never seen the postseason before. But that’s all about to change.
You can follow Rich Peters on twitter @Tricky_Roma.