An NBA blog from Newsday's Bobby Bonett
Flashback: Warriors shock the Mavericks
Day 24 of our 30-team NBA playoff flashback profiles the Golden State Warriors. The Warrios franchise has three NBA titles, and has three playoff appearances since the 1991-92 season.
Date: May 3, 2007
Situation: The No. 8 Golden State Warriors lead the No. 1 Dallas Mavericks, 3-2, heading to Game 6 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs
Context: In 1947, the then-Philadelphia Warriors won the inaugural BAA championship. Nine years later, Philadelphia won it’s second title. By 1977, the Warriors franchise had three championships, and had made 22 playoff appearances in its first 31 years of existence. From 1978-1986, Golden State went without a playoff berth, before again making the postseason five times from 1986-87 to 1993-94. An abysmal stretch then ensued. Golden State missed the playoffs each season from 1994-95 to 2005-06, and in the process, distanced itself from the rest of the NBA pack as the losingest franchise in BAA-NBA history. Seventy-two games into the 2006-07 season, it looked like more of the same. Golden State was 33-39, two games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 8 seed in the West. The league’s fastest-paced offense then caught fire, Golden State winning nine of its final 10 games to sneak into the postseason. Their first round match-up? Goliath, in the form of the 67-15 Dallas Mavericks. Oddly enough, though, Golden State took control. The Warriors won Games 1, 3 and 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. In Dallas in Game 5, the Mavericks won, 118-112, to cut the deficit to 3-2 heading back to Oracle Arena.
Recap: Despite Dirk Nowitzki’s ineffectiveness, Dallas stayed close through the first half, trailing Golden State 50-48 at the break. But Golden State had one more trick up its sleeve. Led by Stephen Jackson’s lights out shooting from three, the Warriors outscored the Mavs 36-15 in the third, taking a 23-point lead into the final quarter. Dallas never threatened, and the Warriors pulled the No. 8-over-No. 1 shocker, finishing off what Marv Albert called the "greatest upset in the history of the NBA playoffs." Golden State won, 111-86
Top players: Stephen Jackson scored 33 points, and shot 7-for-8 from deep. Each of the Warriors’ other four starters — Matt Barnes, Jason Richardson, Baron Davis and Andris Biedrins — also scored in double digits. The five Golden State starters combined for a plus/minus of +129. Dirk Nowitzki did nothing to disprove his reputation as a postseason choker, finishing with just eight points on 2-for-13 shooting. The Mavs were also out-rebounded 53-38.
After the game: In the following round, Golden State ran out of steam. Carlos Boozer, Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz easily dispatched of the Warriors in five, scoring at least 100 points in each game. Golden State won 48 games the following year, but in a loaded Western Conference, missed the playoffs. Since, the Warriors haven’t won more than 36 games, missing the playoffs each season.
Check back tomorrow for the 76ers.
You can view the whole series back clicking the "Flashback" tag below.