Warriors clinch an NBA playoff spot with 6 1/2 weeks to spare


AP

OKLAHOMA CITY — Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have clinched a playoff spot with more than six weeks to spare.

The defending NBA champions wrapped up a berth when the Houston Rockets lost Saturday night to the San Antonio Spurs. That assured the Warriors will finish among the top eight teams in the Western Conference.

A spokesman for the Warriors says they are the first team since the 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers to secure a trip to the postseason before the end of February.

About an hour after the Rockets lost, Golden State improved to 53-5 — the best start in league history — when Curry hit a 3-pointer from well beyond 30 feet with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Warriors a thrilling 121-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.