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The Golden State Warriors should be gearing up for a second-round playoff showdown against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers right about now. After stealing Game 5 against the Sacramento Kings on the road, the reigning NBA champions entered Game 6 as 7.5-point home favorites to lock up the series. Considering their championship mettle and their wealth of experience in those situations, the Warriors should’ve taken care of business rather easily.

Only, they didn’t.

After a dud of a performance on its home court, Golden State will now travel back to the Golden 1 Center for a winner-take-all Game 7. This is unfamiliar territory for a team that’s won four titles in its last six postseason appearances, so when was the last time the Warriors lost in the first round of the playoffs?

The Warriors are on the brink of disaster against the Kings

Almost every NBA fan in the country, including those who reside in Sacramento, expected the Warriors to do what the Warriors do and close out the Kings in Game 6. Instead, Golden State put up its worst effort of the series and lost, 118-99, in a game that was almost never in doubt.

The Warriors now find themselves in unfamiliar territory, staring down a must-win Game 7 for the first time since the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Houston Rockets. Golden State won that game, which was also on the road, to advance to its fourth straight NBA Finals. There, it defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in a four-game sweep.

This will mark the first Game 7 for the Warriors since that 2018 series. Golden State has won six straight Western Conference playoff series in six games or fewer, but Stephen Curry and Co. are now fighting for their lives against the upstart Kings.

Game 7 is schedule for Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

When was the last time the Warriors lost in the first round of the playoffs?

Stephen Curry looks on during Game 6 against the Kings.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors looks down during Game 6 of the Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Sacramento Kings | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It’s hard to imagine the last time the Warriors lost in the Western Conference playoffs, let alone the first round of the postseason. Golden State has reached the NBA Finals in each of its last six playoff appearances, and it’s won four championships over that span.

You have to rewind to the Mark Jackson-led Warriors to find the last time this team lost in the first round. In 2014, the Warriors pushed the “Lob City” Los Angeles Clippers to a Game 7 but lost by a score of 126-121 on the road. At the time, Curry was 25 years old, while Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were only 23.

The following offseason, the Warriors fired Jackson and hired Steve Kerr to take over as the next head coach. Since then, Golden State has won four titles and hasn’t lost a single playoff series in the West. You think that was a good decision?

If the Warriors lose to the Kings in Game 7, it’ll mark their first playoff loss in the first round in nine years. Buckle up.


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