Steve Kerr sure would like to properly thank the loyal fans at Oracle Arena one more time. In June. With another championship in hand.
“Hopefully we’ll have another send-off in a grander manner,” Kerr said.
Soaking in the franchise’s nostalgia of yesteryear, Stephen Curry scored 27 points and helped the Golden State Warriors clinch the Western Conference’s top seed with a win in their final regular-season game at Oracle Arena, beating the Los Angeles Clippers 131-104 today for a fifth straight victory.
Kevin Durant added 16 points and seven assists, making six of seven field goals, as the Warriors players opted to honor the past by sporting throwback white “We Believe” jerseys worn during the 2007 playoff run that snapped a 12-year postseason drought.
“These jerseys hold a special place in Warriors’ fans hearts and this organization and the history of this organization,” Draymond Green said.
A banner commemorating 47 years at Oracle was unveiled afterward and it will move across the bay to hang inside new Chase Center in San Francisco where the Warriors will play next season.
“Let me just say that for 47 years, Warriors fans have stuck with us through thick and thin,” Kerr told the crowd moments after the final buzzer, also thanking arena staff.
“Let’s be honest, most of those years have been a little thin.”
Landry Shamet scored 17 points with five three-pointers for a Clippers team still missing Patrick Beverley because of a right hip pointer.
Los Angeles dropped into a seventh-place tie with San Antonio in the West by losing its third straight.
Now, the Clippers play the Jazz in the regular-season finale Thursday and with various scenarios very well could be returning to Oracle next weekend for Game 1 in the first round of the playoffs.
Green just missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in Golden State’s seventh win over the last eight games and fifth in a row at home.
DeMarcus Cousins contributed 12 points, nine boards and four assists playing with foul trouble.
Even with the playoffs around the corner, this was a night of celebrating the end of a nearly five-decade run in the arena.
“Are they not going to make the playoffs?” Clippers coach Doc Rivers quipped. “I hope they don’t make it. That would be phenomenal. I’m just saying, it would be.”
The Warriors beat the Clippers for the 16th time in the last 18 matchups and 15th in 17 at home.
Golden State made 10 of its first 13 shots — Durant hitting his initial four and Curry starting 3 for 3. Curry wound up just 3 for 10 from deep.
“We just got frustrated with not making shots and against them you have to make shots,” Rivers said.