Warriors top Trail Blazers to grab final playoff spot in West
Portland, OR (Sports Network) – Baron Davis notched 12 points, 14 assists and
10 rebounds, as the Golden State Warriors qualified for the postseason for the
first time since 1994 with a 120-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at
the Rose Garden.
Golden State (42-40) finished two games ahead of the Clippers for the eighth
and final playoff berth in the West. Since the Lakers beat Sacramento,
117-106, Golden State is the eighth seed and the Lakers No. 7. The Warriors
will face the top- seeded Dallas Mavericks, who lost all three contests to
Golden State this season.
“To all our fans back home, the curse is over,” Davis said. “Now we can come
in and play the underdog in the playoffs.”
The series starts Sunday at 9:30 p.m. (et).
Stephen Jackson scored 31 points and Jason Richardson posted 25 points and
eight rebounds for the Warriors, who have won five straight and nine of their
last 10 games overall. Al Harrington netted 24 points, and Monta Ellis added
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Richardson said. “It’s what we worked for, it’s
everything I play for. I knew it would be emotional, especially after trying
for five years and coming up short and playing my hardest and giving it
everything I had to finally come through this year, it’s emotional. I don’t
think I will be able to sleep for about two days.”
Travis Outlaw scored a career-high 36 points for Portland (32-50), which lost
six of its last seven games overall. Martell Webster scored 14 points, and
Jamaal Magloire had 13 points and 11 boards for the Trail Blazers, who failed
to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
“It’s been a joy to work with these guys,” Blazers coach Nate McMillan said.
“When the season started I knew I had a lot of work to do with them, but I’m
pleased the way they responded. I think it was great that they had a chance
tonight to absorb what’s going on over there in the Golden State huddle –
watching them celebrate their chance to play next week in the playoffs. It
should be our goal to play postseason basketball.”
Golden State exploded out of the gate on a 17-4 run finished by a Richardson
alley-oop dunk with 8:41 left, but Portland rattled off nine straight to cut
its deficit to 17-13 approaching the midway point. The Warriors later went on
a 19-6 burst down the stretch sparked by a pair of Jackson buckets, and led
41-26 heading into the second.
The Warriors went on a 9-2 spurt finished by a Matt Barnes layup midway
through the second for a 54-36 advantage, and held a 64-46 halftime margin.
Golden State went on a 10-2 burst out of the locker room and Jackson’s free
throw with 9:20 on the clock widened its lead to 74-48. Portland stayed within
striking distance, rallying for a 16-5 run down the stretch as Outlaw’s three-
point play in the final seconds trimmed its deficit to 92-77 heading into the
Golden State blew the game open on a 12-0 run capped by Jackson’s trey with
5:07 to go in the fourth for a 108-84 lead, and cruised toward the postseason
Golden State took a 2-1 series edge over the Trail Blazers this season…The
Warriors have taken four of the last seven meetings at Portland.