Five memorable Warriors' playoff moments in franchise history
Sleepy Floyd puts Lakers to bed
Before there was Klay, there was Sleepy.
Yes, Mr. Floyd didn't score 37 points in a quarter. But considering Klay Thompson is the only person in NBA history to accomplish that feat, we'll give Sleepy a pass.
Yep, Sleepy only scored 29 points in a single quarter -- and 39 in a half -- in Game 4 of the 1987 semifinals against the Lakers. What a slacker.
No one wants to be swept, and Floyd ensured that the Warriors wouldn't be. The Lakers -- who would go on to win the championship that season -- rolled over Golden State in the first three games of the series. But with his team trailing by 16 entering the fourth quarter, facing elimination, Floyd poured in 12 consecutive field goals, bringing the Oracle Arena crowd to a deafening roar.
Behind Floyd's surge, the Warriors won Game 4, 129-121. They ultimately were eliminated in the next game, but not nearly as many people remember that.
Steph delivers dagger to Pelicans
As the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the 67-win Warriors handled their business over the first two games of their first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015. But as the series shifted to the Big Easy for Game 3, Golden State found itself in an unenviable position, trailing by 20 points heading into the fourth quarter.
Midway through the final frame, the Warriors trailed by 17. Little by little, though, they crawled their way back, setting Steph Curry up to deliver a crushing blow at the end of regulation. First, his 3-pointer with 12.0 seconds left cut the deficit to two. Then, with 3.0 seconds remaining -- and multiple Pelicans defenders flying at him -- Curry sank another trey to send the game into overtime.
Curry then opened the extra period with another 3-pointer, and the Warriors coasted the rest of the way to a 123-119 road win. With a commanding 3-0 series lead, Golden State then completed the sweep of New Orleans on its way to the franchise's first championship in 40 years.
Game 6 Klay
The following season, the Warriors had ideas of repeating as NBA champions. But after defeating each of the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers in five games, Golden State found itself in entirely unfamiliar territory, trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder three-games-to-one in the 2016 Western Conference finals.
Back at Oracle for Game 5, the Warriors held serve to force Game 6 back in Oklahoma City. The Thunder had dreams of advancing to the NBA Finals on their own home floor, but Klay Thompson had other ideas.
With Golden State trailing by eight points entering the fourth quarter and facing imminent elimination, Thompson produced one of the most clutch individual performances in NBA playoff history. He scored 19 of his game-high 41 points in the final frame, including 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, to silence the Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd and deliver the series momentum back to the Dubs.
Thompson finished with a playoff-record 11 3-pointers in the momentous victory, a performance that forever changed the course of NBA history. The Warriors prevailed in Game 7, and Durant never played for Oklahoma City again.
Instead, he joined Golden State in free agency, and played a critical role in helping them win the next two consecutive championships.
Before the Warriors had ideas of establishing a dynasty, they were just happy to be invited to the party. When Golden State qualified for the playoffs back in 2007, it ended a 13-season postseason drought.
The Warriors' prize? As the Western Conference's No. 8 seed, they got a first-round matchup with the top-seeded, 67-win Dallas Mavericks.
Golden State had actually swept the regular-season series with Dallas, including a 29-point beatdown at Oracle Arena in the penultimate game. That turned out to be a harbinger of things to come, as the Warriors upset the Mavericks, 97-85, on the road in Game 1, and never looked back.
Dallas pulled even in Game 2, but the Mavs never held a series lead at any point. The Warriors won all three homes games, culminating with a series-clinching Game 6 victory that sent Golden State to the second round, and compelled Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki to launch a trash can at a wall near the visitor's locker room in frustration, creating a hole that still exists today.
By defeating the Mavericks, the 'We Believe' Warriors became the first No. 8 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in NBA history. The dent Nowitzki made serves as a reminder of the sheer magnitude of that moment.
Baron baptizes Kirilenko
The "We Believe" Warriors did not win the NBA championship. In fact, they didn't win another playoff series, and only prevailed in one second-round game against the Utah Jazz.
That single victory, though, was punctuated by arguably the most memorable non-championship moment throughout Warriors' playoff history.
With Golden State leading by 18 points with just under five minutes remaining in Game 3, the Warriors' first second-round playoff win since 1991 was well in hand, and the raucous Oracle Arena crowd reflected that.
Then Baron Davis blew the roof off.
While attacking the rim, only Utah's Andre Kirilenko -- regarded as one of the top defenders in the NBA at the time -- stood in B-Diddy's way. Undeterred, Davis rose up and delivered a posterizing tomahawk that immediately went down as one of the greatest playoff dunks of all-time.
It was a moment frozen in time. Davis lifted his jersey up in celebration, as his teammates, Kirilenko and the rest of those in attendance processed what had just happened. It was a source of pride for Warriors fans at the time, and remains one to this day.
That's how incredible the dunk was.