The 2006-07 Golden State Warriors season was an up-and-down one. The squad was loaded with talented offensive players, including: Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Jason Richardson and Stephen Jackson.
Don Nelson coached the squad with his typical run-and-gun style as the team struggled to find consistency leading into the stretch drive of the season.
On March 8, 2007, the Dubs sat 12th in the Western Conference at 28-35 and their playoff chances were flickering. The Warriors needed to go on a run in order to qualify for the postseason.
That is exactly what they did.
Golden State went 9-5 over its next 14 games and sat in ninth place on April 8, one game behind the L.A. Clippers for the No. 8 seed.
The Warriors hosted the Utah Jazz on April 9, knowing the importance of getting a win to help springboard the team to the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.
It was a close first quarter, with the Jazz leading 27-26 after 12 minutes and Utah didn’t let up to start the second quarter, eventually going up 35-28. Then the Dubs came alive.
Stephen Jackson hit a 3-point shot with 5:09 remaining in the quarter, capping off an 18-1 run, giving Golden State at 46-36 lead.
Matt Barnes, Baron Davis and Al Harrington each hit some big shots to close out the first half, including a Davis 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left, putting the Dubs up 63-47 at the break.
It was all Warriors from then on. Golden State outscored Utah by eight points in the third and took a 24-point lead into the fourth.
In most markets, the home crowd would start heading for the exits, trying to avoid the traffic, but not at Oracle.
The fans knew what this game meant. With three minutes left to go, those in attendance started chanting, “Playoffs! Playoffs!” as the clock wound down.
Jackson led the way with 28 points, as the Warriors went on to a 126-102 blowout win over the Jazz.
“It’s still out of our hands, basically,” Nelson said after the game. “It doesn’t mean anything. We have to not get too high on the highs and too low on the lows. We just have to take care of our business.”
But, Golden State had taken over the No. 8 seed based off of percentage points from the Clippers and never looked back.
The Warriors won their last four games to finish the season 42-40, setting up their epic first round series against the top seeded 67-15 Dallas Mavericks.
We all remember how that went.
Without this late season surge, the “We Believe” Warriors wouldn’t have the aura as they do today.
What do you remember about the late season run that helped the Dubs clinch a playoff spot?