The Golden State Warriors are now the owners of an impressive five-game win streak after topping the defending champion Miami Heat 97-95 in a thrilling matchup down in South Beach on Wednesday night.
Outside of the Bay Area, no one really gave the Warriors a shot at pulling out the upset. Despite an impressive start to their season-long road trip, some attributed their success to facing inferior competition (minus the Nets) and figured Golden State would fall back to Earth when matched up against LeBron and co.
In what was a very back-and-forth ball game, the Warriors somehow managed to come out on top after Draymond Green hit the game-winning layup with 0.9 seconds to go off a beautiful pass from Jarrett Jack. After LeBron missed the potential tying bucket, reality set in—the Warriors won a big game against a big-time opponent.
This posed the question: When was the last time the Warriors won a big game like this? The words "winning a big game" and "Golden State Warriors" have been strangers to each other for quite some time.
You'd have to hop in the DeLorean and take it back to December 14th, 2007 where the Warriors squared off against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers at Oracle Arena in front of a national TV audience.
In a tightly contested game, the crowd at Oracle came to life down the stretch as Baron Davis embraced big moment after big moment, including nailing a dagger of a three-pointer, helping the Warriors top their Pacific Division foes 108-106.
Coming off their "We Believe" playoff run the season before, expectations were high for the Dubs. Facing off against a team like L.A. would be the first of many tests that would determine if they could repeat their playoff appearance from the year before. The Warriors came to play and in front of the entire country showed that they were not to be taken lightly (although they would go on to barely miss the playoffs that season).
Looking at the date of that Lakers game really puts the Warriors' win against the Heat on Wednesday night into perspective. It's been almost five years to the day for them to come up with a win this big. Yes, they did manage to beat Miami last season, but given where the team was and where they were headed, it wasn't a win of the same magnitude.
Like that team in 2007, Mark Jackson's Warriors still have a long way to go to prove that they are among the best eight teams in the West, but beating the Miami Heat is a good way to prove to others and themselves that they're capable of getting there.