Warriors quickest off the mark in landing play-off spot

Golden State Warrior's Stephen Curry led all scorers with 27 points during Saturday's game against Brooklyn Nets.
Golden State Warrior's Stephen Curry led all scorers with 27 points during Saturday's game against Brooklyn Nets.PHOTO: AFP

OAKLAND (California) • The Golden State Warriors became the first team to clinch a National Basketball Association (NBA) play-off spot on Saturday, riding 51 combined points from guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to a 112-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

"I don't think many people realised it," Curry said after the Warriors (49-9) secured their fifth straight post-season berth. "I think I was the first to realise it and I said something. But there was no celebration."

He led all scorers with 27 points and Thompson added 24 as Golden State played without Kevin Durant for the first time this season as he sat out with a bruised finger.

The Nets led 46-45 with just over four minutes left in the first half before the Warriors took charge.

Three Nets finished with double-doubles - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (16 points and 10 rebounds), Sean Kilpatrick (15 points and 10 rebounds), and Trevor Booker (12 points and 10 rebounds) - but they still lost their 16th straight game.

The Pelicans are hoping to avoid a bad run after losing both games since adding DeMarcus Cousins in a blockbuster deal with Sacramento.

  • 58

  • Number of games it took for the Golden State Warriors to clinch a play-off berth.

New Orleans (23-36) lost to Dallas 96-83 on Saturday and fell behind the Mavericks (23-35) in the logjam of teams trying to chase down the last play-off spot in the Western Conference. Denver (26-32) are eighth.

Cousins, who scored 12 points and added 15 boards at the American Airlines Centre, said he is not feeling any pressure by his role in the postseason push.

"I don't understand the expectations," he said before the game. "It's a big move, it's a big change for this team. To say it's pressure? Not really. But my goal is to make the play-offs."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Warriors quickest off the mark in landing play-off spot'. Print Edition | Subscribe