OAKLAND — With 24 games still remaining in the regular season, the Warriors clinched a postseason berth Saturday night, beating the Brooklyn Nets 112-95.
By clinching a playoff berth on Feb. 25, the Warriors broke an NBA record they set last season, becoming the fastest team in history to wrap up a postseason spot. Last season Golden State also clinched after 58 games, but it came on Feb. 28. No other NBA teams have clinched playoff berths in February since 1988.
There weren’t many surprises in a matchup that pitted the league’s best team against a franchise floundering in dead last place. It was a rather boring, uninspiring game on the Warriors’ end, though.
With Kevin Durant sidelined for his first game all season (swollen left hand), Steph Curry and Klay Thompson ran the show — just like the old days. Curry ended the first half with a buzzer beating 4-point play and ended with 27 points on 5/10 from downtown. Thompson was just as locked in and scored 24 points on just 2 made 3-pointers. He also dished out his 1,000th career assist.
He won’t be measured by it, but Saturday marked the seventh straight game Draymond Green has failed to score in double figures. He went 1/10 from the field against the Nets, scoring 5 points in 24 minutes. Green did manage to come up with his 500th career steal, extending his streak to 17 straight games with at least one steal.
The Nets briefly took the lead 46-45 late in the second quarter and trimmed the lead to 6 points midway through the fourth. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the way for Brooklyn with 16 points. The team’s 9-49 record is the exact opposite of the Warriors’ 49-9. Palo Alto native Jeremy Lin received several small ovations throughout the night and finished with 9 points.
Rookie Patrick McCaw replaced Durant in the starting lineup and was active defensively. A sequence in the third quarter saw him come up with a steal and a smooth transition layup on the other end. In 24 minutes, McCaw posted 9 points and 4 rebounds.
Ian Clark (9 points) scored his highest total at Oracle Arena since Jan. 12 against the Pistons. JaVale Mcgee was a little all over the place, scoring 7 points on 3/11 shooting. Zaza Pachulia was solid in his second game back from a shoulder injury, finishing with 8 points and 9 rebounds.