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Warriors clinch playoff spot in win over Lakers

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 12, 2014 at 12:50 am •  Published: April 12, 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stephen Curry realizes a playoff berth is still a precious commodity for the Golden State Warriors, who have spent the majority of their existence watching the postseason from their collective couches in the Bay Area.

Curry and the Warriors celebrated their latest playoff clincher at Staples Center with not much more than handshakes.

Still, the win was sweet in so many ways for a franchise that has spent decades looking up at the once-mighty Los Angeles Lakers.

Curry had 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, and the Warriors secured another playoff berth with a 112-95 victory over the Lakers on Friday.

Klay Thompson and Marreese Speights scored 16 points apiece for the Warriors, who will make back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since 1992. That's no small achievement to Curry, who had his fourth triple-double of the season.

"We know the history of this franchise, and to keep making strides toward being a perennial playoff contender, these are big strides," said Curry, who hit four three pointers. "We knew it was going to be different this year, having new expectations. We're just glad we can keep playing."

Curry grabbed a defensive rebound with 41 seconds left to wrap up his fifth career triple-double. The speedy point guard is the first Warriors player with four in a single season since Wilt Chamberlain had five in 1963.

Coach Mark Jackson noted the difference between this muted celebration and last season's cathartic clincher, which wrapped up Golden State's second playoff berth in 20 seasons.

"We are not that far removed from dreaming of this moment," Jackson said. "(But) we know we're a good basketball team now. That's why you don't see shouting and screaming and soaking-wet guys. We expected to be here. We celebrated the moment, and now we're on to bigger things."

After blowing a 20-point lead and a chance to clinch at home against Denver on Thursday night, Curry and the Warriors snapped an 11-game road losing streak against the Lakers.

Golden State also won its season series with the Lakers for the first time since 1994-95, and the Warriors are one victory shy of the franchise record for road victories (24) and its first 50-win season since 1993-94.

The Warriors are likely to be the Western Conference's sixth seed, which would mean they'll return to Staples Center next week to face the Pacific Division champion Clippers.

"There's still more to do, but it's a good step forward for this organization to have back-to-back playoff seasons," Thompson said. "We want it to be something that's normal."

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