SAN FRANCISCO - The Golden State Warriors faced the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday night in the NBA Play-In Tournament to get into the playoffs.
After a close game, the Warriors lost in this first round, but they have another shot when they play Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies.
With the Warriors playing on the road against the Lakers, fans gathered at Thrive City, the plaza outside Chase Center for a watch party.
Despite the loss, they say they're confident the Warriors will win the next game and get into the playoffs.
The Warriors dance team kicked off the festivities at Thrive City's first ever watch party].
"Without the bling, you can't sing. We're going to get another ring this year and where are my Warriors fans at?" says Armelia Hampton, a fan from Oakland who wore replica championship rings on a chain around his neck.
This event is free to season ticket holders and others by invitation only.
Fans watched the game from a huge screen. They were chilled by the wind, but warmed by the spirit of community.
For some, it's the first time being with Dub Nation in a setting outside their home since the pandemic.
"It feels like normal life again. I think people get a little more excited because it's been so long. I think people are just happy to be here," season ticket holder Barbara Gill says as she attended with friends, "You feel everybody else's energy which is amazing."
Fans describe themselves as being faithful and hopeful that the Warriors will make it all the way to the finals.
"Steph Curry has taught me that nothing is impossible. He just blocked Lebron James right there. You never know," says Tyler Chuck, a Warriors fan from Oakland.
Tony Freccero, another fan from Oakland says, "Every game, it's just so exciting because who's going to be the hero? Who's going to step up?"
People who live near Chase Center say they welcome basketball fans and the atmosphere the Warriors bring to their neighborhood now that pandemic restrictions are easing.
"Miss the buzz. It was a little bit dead, no one around. So it's nice to have a little bit more action, a little bit more of a buzz around," says Abbie Sweeney who lives in the Mission Bay neighborhood.
This watch party was held outdoors in part due to COVID-19 concerns.
A team official says for upcoming games at Chase Center, the plan is to increase the number of fans allowed inside to 7,500, up from the 4,000 fans from last Friday.
"We could use Dub Nation's energy. We're excited to have fans back in the building and again, the team is really feeding off their energy," says John Beaven, the Warriors vice president of ticket sales and services.
"I've been following them since I was 18 years old. I'm 40 now so I'm always going to be here good or bad, thick and thin, through and through right here," says Hampton.
The Warriors will play against the Grizzlies in a do or die game Friday at 6 p.m. at Chase Center.
Tickets go on sale Thursday at 4 p.m.