Warriors fans celebrate Game 2 victory over Lakers, tying series 1-1
SAN FRANCISCO - Excitement filled Chase Center as Warriors fans witnessed a thrilling Game 2 that had the Golden State Warriors dominating the court against the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night in a 127-100 Warriors' victory.
Warriors fans came with high hopes the team could bounce back from Game 1's disappointing loss.
"Guaranteed win tonight baby. It's a guaranteed win," said Francisco Badiola of San Francisco as he entered Chase Center for the 6 p.m. game.
Lakers fans came from across the region too.
"Gotta see LeBron one time. It's my life goal," said Antonio de Jesus Godry-Esparza, a Lakers fan who came from Reno.
Playoff game t-shirts with the slogan "Gold-blooded" were placed on every seat. The game was sold out for the 475th straight home game, the longest streak in team history. The Warriors have been distributing playoff game t-shirts since 2007 and say they have distributed more than 1.4 million shirts to fans in Dubnation.
The Warriors have inspired fans around the world and one boy Sean Ciarin and his father said they had traveled from Toronto for the game to see his idol. Warriors' guard Stephen Curry.
"Steph is my favorite player and I base my game off him," said Ciarin.
Zeke Kassner, 19, from San Mateo was there with his mother Tassie Collins. Kassner says Jonathan Kuminga is an inspiration to him and other youth born in the Congo.
"It's cool to see someone who is from where I'm from play basketball," said Zeke Kassner, "The kids in Africa who maybe only see a limit to how much potential they can do. And Jonathan Kuminga playing a basketball over here and having a career, it lets them dream and inspires them to come over here and play."
For some, the Warriors/Lakers team rivalry hits close to home.
Nate Allen was in a Lakers jersey, sitting next to his girlfriend Stacy Rock sporting a Warriors sweatshirt.
"It's my girlfriend right here. No matter what team we represent we're always messing with each other," said Nate Allen, a Lakers fan from San Jose.
For them, just being at the game was a celebration. It was their first outing since Allen got out of the hospital from a near fatal accident.
"We're celebrating him and his life and just being able to walk again," said Rock.
"It's a house divided, but love still conquers all, so it's all good," said Allen.
At half-time, the Warriors gave out their community service Impact Warrior award to the Kiely Watt of the Chinatown Community Development Center for her outstanding service, helping people during the pandemic. Watt received a custom jersey with her name.
She summed up the feelings that many people have at these NBA playoff games, pointing to the joy and connections to community that go beyond the four corners of the basketball court.
"Just to be invited here, just to be part of the excitement, be part of the sense of community that the Warriors have, it's really thrilling," said Watt.
The Warriors now go on the road to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Saturday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m. PST.