Apr 12, 2023 - Sports

Warriors face Kings in playoff battle of Northern California

stephen curry, wearing a white jersey, drives toward the hoop for a layup

Stephen Curry (No. 30) of the Golden State Warriors drives to the basket against the Kings on Friday in Sacramento. Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Buckle up, the Golden State Warriors are heading to the playoffs.

Driving the news: The Dubs punched their ticket to the playoffs after a blowout 157-101 win against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, the final day of the regular season.

  • Now, the Warriors head to Sacramento to face the Kings in the first round of the playoffs Saturday.

Why it matters: There were many, many moments in the regular season when it wasn't clear if our defending champions would even make it back to the postseason.

Context: There's no sugarcoating it — the Warriors had a rough season plagued with careless turnovers, excessive fouling, and absences of key players like Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins.

  • Wrap that all up in a nice bow and you get the Warriors' horrendous road record of 11-30.
  • Oh, and let's not forget "the punch," when Draymond Green clocked teammate Jordan Poole before the season even started.
  • Against all odds, the Warriors finished the season in sixth place, claiming the last guaranteed playoff spot with an overall record of 44-38.

Be smart: This will be the first time in history the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings will face each other in the playoffs.

  • Plus, the Kings are ending their 16-season-long playoff drought, the longest in NBA history.

Of note: The Kings are led by head coach Mike Brown, the former assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors who left the Dubs last season.

What they're saying: "You get to the playoffs and your team will be judged by how you do in the playoffs," Green said. "No one will be talking about 'They won this many road games.' No one will care."

  • "So we've just gotta go in and take care of executing the game plan, not making some of the mistakes that we've made throughout this regular season."

What to watch: Game one of the series is 5:30pm PT Saturday on ABC.

  • It will be interesting to see how Wiggins meshes with the team after missing more than 20 games.

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