With the win, the Warriors clinched the sixth seed in the Western Conference and will play the third seeded Denver Nuggets on Saturday in the opening round of the playoffs. It was an important victory for Golden State as they were able to avoid drawing the San Antonio Spurs.
In Wednesday’s victory, Stephen Curry knocked down four more three pointers, breaking Ray Allen‘s ’05-’06 single season record and giving him 272 makes on the season. Curry took 53 less attempts than Allen and finished at a scorching 46% from beyond the arc. Curry said after the game, “You just try to play your game and not let it be your focal point.”
Klay Thompson, the Warriors other backcourt sharpshooter, scored 24 points while knocking down five more threes of his own. Thompson made the third most three-pointers in the league with 206 on the season on 40% shooting.
David Lee collected his league leading 56th double-double of the season, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Lee also leads the league in 20 and 10 games.
LaMarcus Aldridge kept Portland hanging around all game with a tremendous 30 point, 21 rebound performance. Golden State had no answer for the Blazer big man although they still outrebounded Portland 52-42. Aldridge capped off another great season, averaging 21 points and nine boards.
Rookie of the Year front runner and Oakland native Damian Lillard scored 21 points, but was limited to just three assists. The combination of Aldridge and Lillard should be something special for years to come, but this season’s second half was full of sorrows. It was the 13th straight loss for the Trail Blazers, equaling the franchise record set in the ’71-’72 season.
Coach Mark Jackson was able to lead his Warriors squad into the playoffs in just his second season at the helm. With one of the youngest rosters in the league, things are finally looking promising for a Golden State team that has been a cellar dweller for the better half of two decades. The new ownership has a marketable team and roster and they are looking to continue building on their recent success.
It was a big night for the Warriors, who were able to gain momentum and confidence heading into the playoffs. This will be the Warriors’ first postseason appearance since 2007 and their second since 1994.