Winning the championship might be the ultimate goal, but the Golden State Warriors have ticked off one of their primary objectives by clinching their division for the first time in 39 years.
Golden State defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 122-108 on Tuesday to lock up the Pacific Division – something they hadn’t done since the 1975-76 season.
The top record in the Western Conference seemed imminent, let alone the division crown, but the Warriors celebrated the accomplishment by donning t-shirts which read ‘Pacific Claimed’.
“We might be a little subdued, but I think everybody is proud of what we’ve done,” said Stephen Curry, who scored 33 points and dished 10 assists against Portland.
“We have the best record in the league. Stephen Curry is the MVP and I don’t think it’s close” – Andrew Bogut pic.twitter.com/MOg1YUxwZA
— Warrior Nation (@SFWarriorNation) March 26, 2015
“We still have 11 games left to keep getting better so I think everybody is focused on that. But I think everybody is pretty happy right now.”
The last time Golden State finished atop the Pacific Division, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won his fourth MVP and Curry’s father, Dell, was just 11 years old.
The longstanding drought is now snapped, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr hopes it’s just the start.
“It feels great. As [associate head coach] Alvin Gentry said, ‘if you haven’t done something for 39 years, you better celebrate it when you finally do’.
“It’s a great moment for our franchise. It kind of shows how far we’ve come and the work that so many people have put in,” Kerr, whose side have lost just one of their last 13 games, said.
“It was a good celebration relative to our accomplishment, but also with the idea that there’s more to come. “It was our goal based on that we had the talent to do it.
“Obviously the reward is to get home-court in the first round if you do it and obviously we’re looking at home-court beyond that with our record with the way things have gone.
“It’s a goal that we set, we’ve reached and we’re excited about it and now we keep plugging away.”
The 1975-76 team went on to lose the Western Conference Finals in seven games and the franchise’s last of three titles came the year before.
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