With a 112-95 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night, the Warriors clinched a berth in the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Stephen Curry logged his fourth triple-double of the season (30 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), ensuring the Dubs’ second-straight trip to the postseason. Klay Thompson added 16 points and four assists, while Steve Blake (13 points, five assists) and Marreese Speights (16 points, eight rebounds) had productive nights off the bench. David Lee returned to action after missing the previous seven games (nerve inflammation, right leg) and finished with a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double. The Warriors led the Lakers in rebounds (57 to 42), fast break points (28 to 12), and points the paint (46 to 32). Next up for the squad is another Western Conference battle as the Warriors visit the Trail Blazers in Portland on Sunday. PLAYOFF TICKET PRE-SALE
Mark Jackson
On clinching a playoff berth:
"We are not that far removed from dreaming of this moment. Obviously, it was different last year, but all we’ve been through individually and collectively, to fight, to battle and to find ourselves in the playoffs and continuing to chase down history says a lot about these guys. It’s a great organization and great management. I’m thrilled to be a part of it, and it’s a heck of an accomplishment."
On Stephen Curry's night:
"It’s what superstars do. He’s a guy that was very upset last night after the game. He talked about it, he expressed it, and on top of that, what the special players do is that they do something about it in between the lines. His will, his determination, [and] his competitive spirit carried us tonight. Just a big-time victory."
On how the team responded after last night's loss:
"I have a 'together' group. It’s very easy to be down, depressed and a setup for a Lakers team that’s dangerous. We came in, we executed, we defended at a high level, we shared the basketball, and we got solid plays, even short-handed. It says a lot about this team and its mindset after last night’s disappointing loss."
On Steve Blake's performance in his return to Los Angeles:
"Steve brings toughness, and he understands the game. He’s a guy who can play either backcourt position, [and] defends at a high level. It was good to see him make some shots. It was his best overall game, and I think a guy like him who does everything right deserves to come back in a place where he did some special things and have some success."
Stephen Curry
On going into the playoffs for the second straight year:
“It means a lot. We know the history of the franchise and making strides to be playoff team contenders is a big time accomplishment. We have to appreciate it and continue to move forward and close out the season strong and get ready for hopefully another deep playoff run.”
On going into the playoffs this year compared to last year:
“We knew it was going to be different because we have new expectations. Obviously last night we had our sights set on winning, but we didn’t get it done. We are happy to put our name up there on the standings and keep playing. We have about three games left to figure out a way to click all 48 minutes and we haven’t done it this past week so we need to get it done.”
On how to click as a team all 48 minutes:
“It’s tough because we’ve had guys out and the lineup has been shifting so you can’t lose sight of it. We haven’t been healthy, but we have to figure out how to stop the lulls in games. If we give full energy and lose on our terms that’s fine, but the way that we’ve been giving up huge runs and blowing leads needs to be fixed sooner than later. We are still confident and feel like we can beat anyone in the west and that’s the mentality we have going forward.”
Klay Thompson
On going into the playoffs for the second straight year:
“There is still business to take care of, but it feels good. It is a good step forward for this organization to have back to back playoff seasons. We want to make it something that is normal. We have a bright future and there is still a lot of ball left to be played.”
On their preparation and expectations going into the playoffs:
“I think we are ready because we have the team to do it. We have guys who can score the ball and they defend well, which is huge in post season. We still have three games ahead of us to solidify this playoffs spot or we can move up. We will see what happens because there is still a lot of ball left.”
On what the team can do to improve:
“Just take care of the ball and continue to play selfish and pride ourselves in defense. If we do those three things we will be tough to beat.”
Friday’s contest will be the fourth and final matchup between the Warriors and Lakers this season. Golden State has won two of the first three encounters, with each side winning on their own home floor. With a win, the Warriors would snap an 11-game losing streak at Staples Center, as well as win their first season series over the Lakers since the 1994-95 season. After missing out on a chance to clinch a playoff berth in their last-second loss to the Nuggets on Thursday, expect the Dubs to come out hungry for a postseason-clinching victory.
The Warriors let one slip away on Thursday, falling to the Nuggets 100-99 after a back-and-forth finish at Oracle Arena. After Stephen Curry finished in traffic to put the Warriors ahead by a point with 5.8 seconds remaining, Kenneth Faried answered for Denver with a bucket of his own with 0.5 seconds left. Curry’s ensuing deep heave fell just short as time expired and the Warriors missed out on a golden opportunity to secure their spot in the playoffs. The Dubs still have four games left on the season, and they need just one victory to clinch a postseason berth. While the Warriors led for the majority of the game, they were outscored by 11 in the second half. Much of that damage was done with the Warriors’ starters on the bench, but the first unit couldn’t quite pull out the win. Curry scored 12 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter and Klay Thompson had 21 points for the Dubs, who will look to secure their playoff spot on Friday when they take on the Lakers in Los Angeles. GAME RECAP
While you have to give Kenneth Faried and the Nuggets some credit for pulling off the unlikely road victory on Thursday night, it’s pretty clear that the Warriors let that win slip right through their fingers. Not only were the Dubs up 20 points at one point, they were going up against a Nuggets team that suited up only nine active players and hadn’t arrived in the Bay Area till the wee hours of the morning after playing in Denver the night before. Those are the kinds of situations that should be automatic, particularly for a team as skilled as the Warriors. Yet, as has happened a few times this season, Golden State lacked the sense of urgency required to get a much-needed win at home against inferior competition. If the Dubs hope to make some noise in the playoffs, rather than just get there, this has to stop, and soon. There won’t be any easy outs come playoff time, and if the Warriors don’t get this sorted out quickly, they could be in for a rude awakening.
Typically, the Warriors are a very good rebounding team, ranking fourth in the league in total rebounds per game. However, on Thursday night, that was certainly not the case. The Dubs were dominated on the glass, losing the rebounding battle by a whopping 63-38 margin. Timofy Mozgov had a field day, hauling in 29 boards on his own, the most any player has recorded in the league this season. Yes, Golden State was without David Lee once again, who is obviously one of their better rebounders. However, that didn’t stop them from winning the rebounding battle in their previous two games, so it begs the question, what happened? On one hand, Mozgov and Kenneth Faried are great individual rebounders, so they deserve a lot of the credit. But when you have rim protectors like Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O’Neal, the margin should never be that wide. Sometimes it all comes down to something as simple as effort. You have to want it more than the other guy. If you don’t, well, Thursday night is a great example of what can happen. The Warriors would be wise to not let it happen again.
The 2013-14 season will not go down as a successful one in the Lakers’ illustrious history, that much is for sure. Possibly doomed from the start, the Lakers have trudged their way through the season, and now boast, if you can call it that, a 25-53 record, good enough for second-worst in the conference. As one might imagine, this is not the kind of season the Lakers and their fans are used to. Certainly some of their struggles can be attributed to injury, as Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and Kobe Bryant in particular have missed significant time. However, you won’t find many teams shedding tears for them, as they’ve had more than their fair share of success over the last two decades. Still, you can bet Los Angeles would love to end the season on a high-note, and what better way than to play the role of spoiler against their Northern Californian rivals. With a Warriors’ playoff berth on the line, both sides have more than enough to play for, which should make for a competitive game.
Injury Report
GSW: David Lee (strained right hamstring) and Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) are out. Nemanja Nedovic and Ogjnen Kuzmic are on assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League.

LAL:Jordan Farmar (strained right groin) and Pau Gasol (vertigo) are questionable. Kent Bazemore (torn tendon, right foot), Kobe Bryant (fractured left knee), Xavier Henry (torn ligament, left wrist and sore right knee), Steve Nash (nerve root irritation), and Chris Kaman (strained right calf) are out.