Golden State 120, Portland 98

PORTLAND, Ore., April 18 (AP) -- Baron Davis had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-98 Wednesday night to earn a playoff berth for the first time since 1994.

Golden State (42-40) claimed the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference and will play the Dallas Mavericks. The Warriors went into the season finale against the Trail Blazers one game up on the Los Angeles Clippers, but made sure the Clippers' game against New Orleans/Oklahoma City didn't matter.

"Last day! Can you believe it?'' coach Don Nelson exclaimed afterward.

The Clippers went on to lose 86-83 to the Hornets.

It was decided early, with the Warriors going up 64-46 at the half and leading by as many as 28 points.

Stephen Jackson had 31 points, Jason Richardson added 25 and Al Harrington had 24. When Jackson left the game with just more than two minutes left, he and his teammates gathered in a group embrace.

After the game, the Warriors lingered on the floor hopping and dancing with Nelson, who used to coach Dallas.

"It was crazy,'' Richardson said of the postgame celebration. "Guys were laughing, having a good time, yelling at each other. It just felt amazing.''

Golden State's 12-year playoff drought was the longest current stretch in the league.

A Warriors fan in the Rose Garden stands hoisted a sign that read "years of waiting ends tonight.''

"I'm glad it's over,'' Richardson said.

The Blazers (32-50), out of the playoff picture for the fourth straight season, had only nine available players because of various late-season injuries. Travis Outlaw had a career-high 36 points and added 10 rebounds.

The Warriors were coming off a 111-82 victory Tuesday night over the Dallas Mavericks, who rested many of their players.

Golden State won nine of 10 down the stretch to make it to the postseason. The Warriors had finished with losing records the previous 13 seasons. Nelson, in his second stint with the Warriors, was also the team's coach the last time they went to the playoffs.

"Each one of these last games has been bigger and bigger. This was the biggest because if we win, we're in. We needed to win,'' Nelson said.

Rookie Brandon Roy rested his sore knees in the Blazers' final three games. He joined Ime Udoka (right knee), LaMarcus Aldridge (heart), top scorer and rebounder Zach Randolph (hand) and Joel Przybilla (left knee) in watching from the bench in street clothes. Darius Miles, who missed the entire season after knee surgery, was also at the finale.

Richardson's dunk gave the Warriors an early 17-4 lead, and a 3-pointer made it 37-21 before the first quarter was over. Matt Barnes' fast-break layup midway through the second quarter made it 54-36.

Monta Ellis' layup midway through the fourth quarter made it 100-84.

"I don't think I will be able to sleep for about two days,'' Richardson said.

Portland lost six of its final seven games.

Notes: The Blazers, celebrating their 1977 NBA championship, retired the No. 14 jersey of the starting guard from that team, Lionel Hollins. ... Golden State's 41 first-quarter points were the most scored in a first quarter this season against the Blazers.


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