Warriors clinch first playoff spot since 1993-94Apr 19, 2007 - 6:51 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- The Golden State Warriors ended years of frustration with one win against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Baron Davis collected 12 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds and Stephen Jackson added 31 points as the Warriors clinched their first playoff berth in 13 years with a 120-98 victory over the Trail Blazers.
Jason Richardson scored 25 points and Al Harrington added 24 for Golden State (42-40), which won 19 of the season's final 21 games en route to its first playoff appearance since 1993-94.
"Nobody expected us to be in the playoffs," Davis said. "But we are here and we don't plan on leaving without a fight. I want to thank all my teammates that were here before the trade.
"For their dedication and hard work and just keeping this thing afloat. Playing hard through these trying times. I want to thank my coach for giving me a challenge and believing in my talent. To thank Coach for being who he was and guiding us to the end."
The Warriors finished two games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers (40-42) in the battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and will face league-leading Dallas in a first-round series starting this weekend.
"(Dallas is) the best team in the NBA and has an MVP candidate in Dirk Nowitzki," Richardson said. "We've had them on our minds. They are going to be ready for us. We beat them three times this year and a couple times last year.
"But the playoffs are different. Teams are going to take away what you do real good, so it won't be no walk in the park."
It was an easy victory for Golden State, which raced to a 41-26 lead after the opening period and did not look back. The Warriors led by as many as 28 points in the third quarter on Mickael Pietrus' jumper to make it 83-55 with 6:18 left.
"We came out and took control early," Davis said. "There was no way we were going to lose tonight. No way we would lose. I told (Warriors general manager Chris Mullin) when I got here that I wanted to lead us to the playoffs.
"All I care about is this organization because I go hard for people who take chances on me. Now, it's about me becoming the best player I can be and getting this team and Coach a championship. That's all I want, man."
Golden State looked energized from the start and played unselfishly, dishing out 37 assists en route to 53 percent (48-of-91) shooting from the floor, including 11-of-29 on 3-pointers.
Davis shot just 4-of-16 from the field, including 0-of-3 on 3-pointers, but notched his first triple-double of the season.
"I had quit having fun and started to question myself as a basketball player," Davis said. "What I wanted to get out of playing. Coach came to me and just everyday he challenged me and stayed on top of me, and I totally bought into what he was saying."
Jackson, Richardson and Harrington combined to shoot 61 percent (31-of-51) from the field, including 9-of-19 from the arc.
"It felt like college when we won the championship," Richardson said. "I just wanted to hug everybody. We finally made it to the playoffs. The streak is over. I hate being a part of that streak. Now, we can go on being in the playoffs for 13 years."
Travis Outlaw scored a career-high 36 points and added 10 rebounds for the Blazers, who shot 43 percent (33-of-77).
"I did what I always do, go out there and be aggressive," Outlaw said. "That's all I can always do. The rest will take care of itself. I think this Blazers team will be real tough in years to come."
GOLDEN STATE 120
PORTLAND 98 FINAL
Apr 19 12:42 AM
GOLDEN STATE 94
PORTLAND 77 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 19 12:14 AM
HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
GOLDEN STATE 41 23 64
PORTLAND 26 20 46 HALFTIME
HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
GSW - STEPHEN JACKSON 18, JASON RICHARDSON 15,
AL HARRINGTON 12
POR - TRAVIS OUTLAW 12, JAMAAL MAGLOIRE 10,
FRED JONES 7
Apr 18 11:18 PM
GOLDEN STATE 41
PORTLAND 26 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 18 10:47 PM
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