Thursday night, it finally happened.
Led by Jackson and Davis who were united by a midseason trade that saved the Warriors from a 13th year of a playoff drought, Golden State smashed the brittle championship dreams of the Dallas Mavericks, dethroning the defending Western Conference champions in the first round of the NBA postseason with a series-clinching, 111-86 Game 6 victory before a howling mob of 20,677 at Oracle Arena.
Jackson, one of four players brought over to Golden State from the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 17, recovered from an early elbow to the head to score 33 points, with a franchise playoff-record seven 3-pointers.
And Davis staged possibly the greatest one-legged NBA playoff performance since New York Knicks center Willis Reed strode into legend in 1970, providing 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists despite suffering a strained right hamstring in the first quarter that left him limping throughout the rest of the game.
Helped by critical contributions from Matt Barnes, who stepped into the starting lineup and provided 16 points, 11 boards and seven assists, and Andris Biedrins, who carded his second double-double of the series with a dozen points and boards, coach Don Nelson managed to knock off his employer of some eight seasons and make good on his vision of what the new Warriors could become.
"It's one of the things coach had asked after the trade," veteran center Adonal Foyle said. "He said, 'I know we're going to be a good ballclub in the future. Unfortunately, I want it now, and it's something I'm going to demand.'"
Those demands were paid off at the expense of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who could only watch unhappily as Nelson dismantled his former team, turning probable regular-season league MVP Dirk Nowitzki into a postseason afterthought.
The Warriors will open their first second-round playoff series in 16seasons on the road Monday night against either the fourth-seeded Utah Jazz or the fifth-seeded Houston Rockets.
Those teams will stage their own Game7 on Saturday for the right to face the most improbable first-round survivors in NBA history, a 42-40 Warriors team that knocked off the mighty 67-15 Mavericks, owners of the NBA's best record.
Who's to say this Warriors team with a 20-7 record since getting its full roster healthy in early March can't be the first to make it out of the second round since the 1975 squad won the franchise's only title since moving to California?
"On the old 'Mickey Mouse Show,' there was one day out of the week that was 'Anything Can Happen' day," said assistant coach Larry Riley, like Nelson a former veteran of the Mavericks' bench. "That's what we're talking about. Anything can happen."
Jackson said earlier in this series that he owed his new team a game-winning shot after having beaten the Warriors with a 3-pointer at the buzzer on behalf of the Pacers back in November. Instead, he made sure that wasn't necessary by setting a playoff career high for scoring and serving as the catalyst for an 18-0 third-quarter run that put the game away.
Jackson nailed two of his four 3-pointers to start the spree, and when Barnes rocketed down the lane for a left-handed slam to make it 80-57 Warriors, it was all over but for the celebrating.
That reached a crescendo when Davis checked out with 2 minutes and 19 seconds left. First he exhorted the crowd to make even more noise, and then enveloped Nelson in a massive bear hug.
Davis had checked out of the game in much different fashion at the 5:10 mark of the first quarter, heading straight to the locker room to care for his strained right hamstring. Davis drew cheers from the sellout crowd just by showing up on the Warriors bench with 10:18 left in the second quarter.
But before Davis could check in, the Warriors had another injury to deal with, as Jackson was felled, apparently struck by an elbow from Barnes while both teammates were chasing an offensive rebound. While Jackson writhed on the floor in pain, Howard scored on a short jumper at the other end, pulling the Mavericks into a 29-all tie.
Davis was obviously laboring with a limp in his step, and Dallas seemed primed to pull away. But Davis scored 11 of the Warriors' final 12 points of the half to keep them out in front, 50-48, at intermission.