After finishing the regular season with the second overall seed, the D-Fenders were given the right to pick their playoff opponent after the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (34-16) chose the Reno Bighorns (27-23).
The D-Fenders and Warriors split eight games during the regular season. The first game will be on Thursday in Santa Cruz.
The series shifts to the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo for Game 2 on Saturday and, if necessary, a Game 3 on Tuesday.
The D-Fenders missed the 2012-13 postseason with a 21-29 record.
Former Lakers forward Shawne Williams has made 23 appearances this season for the D-Fenders, averaging 20.5 points a game.