golden state warriors

Chants of ”Playoffs! Playoffs! Playoffs!” rang out from fans. Confetti flew around the lower bowl of the arena. Finally, the public address announcer told the crowd what they had longed to hear: ”The Golden State Warriors are heading to the 2013 NBA playoffs!”

Believe it.

Klay Thompson scored 25 of his 30 points in the first half, Stephen Curry added 24 points and 10 assists and the Warriors clinched their first playoff berth since 2007 by routing the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-89 on Tuesday night.

”We celebrated. Rightfully so,” teary-eyed and red-faced Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after emerging from the locker room. ”People questioned us, and they should have. People doubted us, and they should have. They underestimated the heart, the desire, the work ethic, the determination, the willingness to put in the time.”

At long last, Bay Area basketball fans have reason to cheer again.

David Lee finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds to propel the Warriors to just their second postseason appearance in 19 years. Co-owner Joe Lacob shared hugs and handshakes with fans from his courtside seat, raising his right hand to the 30th straight sellout crowd announced at 19,596.

– Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press