Full of belief, Warriors await play-off opponents

Golden State guard Stephen Curry celebrating after a three-pointer against the Clippers.
Golden State guard Stephen Curry celebrating after a three-pointer against the Clippers.PHOTO: REUTERS

OAKLAND (California) • Having clinched the top seeding in the West for the play-offs, all that is left for the Golden State Warriors is to play the waiting game while their first-round play-off opponents are determined.

The two-time defending National Basketball Association champions celebrated their final regular-season game by donning throwback "We Believe" uniforms.

Last worn in the 2009-10 season, the jerseys are a homage to the Warriors team that ended a 12-year post-season drought before upsetting the then top seeds Dallas Mavericks in the 2006-07 play-offs.

And it certainly worked a treat on Sunday, as they blew out the Los Angeles Clippers 131-104 in front of a raucous crowd to edge out the Denver Nuggets as top dogs in the West.

The night also took on special significance as this was the last regular-season game at the Oracle Arena. After 47 years, the Warriors will move to the state-of-the-art Chase Centre in San Francisco in September.

Saluting the fans for "sticking with us through thick and thin", Warriors coach Steve Kerr called on his players to give them even more to remember their beloved home court by with the "three-peat".

He said: "Since it's not really the last game here, I know it's a ceremonial final game, I didn't get too sentimental or emotional or anything because hopefully, we will be coming back here and playing a lot more games in the next couple of months."

Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who led all scorers with 27 points, however, revelled in the party atmosphere, calling it "a night of celebration, blending the history and the present".

In Boston, the Orlando Magic clinched their first play-off berth in seven years - the longest drought in franchise history - with a 116-108 road win over the Celtics.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2019, with the headline 'Full of belief, Warriors await play-off opponents'. Print Edition | Subscribe