The Golden State Warriors are on their way to the NBA Finals after a regular season victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The team’s success has been attributed largely to its superteam, with Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry leading them to look like one of the best teams in recent memory.
The “Golden State Warriors clinch playoff spot with high” is a headline that was published on ESPN. The Golden State Warriors clinched the playoffs with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Read more in detail here: golden state warriors playoffs.
2:00 a.m. ET
ESPN’s Kendra Andrews
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors have been tight-lipped about their interest in the Western Conference standings. Some have acknowledged to keeping an eye on them. Others have described them as a last-minute addition.
However, no one in Golden State’s locker room was unaware of the game’s significance coming into Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz.
With a victory, the Warriors would move into third place, one game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks. It would also give them the tiebreaker against the Jazz, securing a top-five finish in the West if the two teams finished the regular season with the same record.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated, “Oh absolutely, [we] were fully aware.” “We didn’t speak about it much as a squad, but the players are aware of it. I informed the coaching staff, and Steph [Curry] told a few of the players.”
The Warriors defeated the Jazz 111-107 to win a playoff berth and put themselves in position to possibly gain home-court advantage in the first round. It was just their second victory in nine games.
The Warriors thought they finally had something good to build on after their defeat to the Phoenix Suns the night before. Their defense, which was previously rated No. 1 in the league, resurfaced against the Suns, and their offense looked linked and cohesive. The problem was that they couldn’t shut the door.
It was all about how they closed against the Jazz.
After the Warriors cut Utah’s advantage to single digits in the waning minutes of the third quarter, Utah went on a 16-point run to open the fourth quarter. Klay Thompson scored a 3-pointer with 6:58 remaining, and the Jazz took a timeout.
The game turned at that point, thanks to a Draymond Green pep talk.
“He just added a lot of vitality. Motivating the boys and boosting us up, particularly in a high-pressure situation, is crucial “Jordan Poole expressed his thoughts. “What he says has an impact on the whole squad. We were able to just ride the wave.”
Andrew Wiggins scored a 28-foot pull-up jumper after the timeout. Thompson made a three-pointer thirty seconds later. He hit another on the following possession. In 80 seconds, the Warriors moved from a 16-point deficit to a four-point deficit and went on an 18-0 run to capture their first lead of the game.
Kerr said, “What a performance.” “Klay and Jordan’s abilities astounded me. Draymond’s intensity and passion, as well as Andrew and Otto [Porter Jr.’s disciplined defense and energy] put in an incredible effort down the stretch.”
Poole scored 31 points, his 16th game in a row with at least 20 points, while Thompson led the Warriors with 36 points.
Thompson’s performance marked a turning point following a string of poor performances. His current struggles have been attributed to him pushing his shot and trying too hard to develop a rhythm, according to the Warriors.
“We’ve seen it a million times: Klay can make the poor ones too if he just watches the ball go in the basket a few of times,” Kerr said. “I didn’t think it was a huge improvement in terms of shot selection, but I believe the fact that the midrange shot was there helped him to get into a rhythm, and then he began hitting the impossible shots.”
Thompson continued: “I know I’m capable of doing something as simple as flipping a switch. I knew this year would be full of ups and downs, and I simply reminded myself yesterday that it’s just one game, and I’ll move on. I told Kenny Atkinson that I thought I’d have a good night tonight, and that turned out to be true. I’m glad that worked out.”
The Warriors’ fourth-quarter offensive display was bolstered by Utah’s continuous drop coverage defense, which forced Rudy Gobert to remain in the paint no matter what, offering the Warriors wide-open looks.
But, unlike in previous games, when the Warriors have missed open shots, this time they have made them. Rather than being sluggish, they were decisive.
Every game, according to Poole, is crucial at this juncture in the season. But there was no disputing that everyone in the Warriors’ locker room knew this one was special, and they weren’t going to let it go.
That’s what Green told his teammates during a timeout in the fourth quarter, and it’s what sparked the Warriors’ late-game rally.
Poole remarked, “It was a vital element of the game.” “This was the critical time for us to win the game.”
The “2016 warriors record” is the best in NBA history. The Warriors have clinched the playoff spot with a high of 73-9.
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