OAKLAND, April 14 – The Golden State Warriors made NBA history on Wednesday by clinching a record 73rd victory in their final regular season game.
Here are the five key moments in Golden State’s record-breaking season:
– RECORD START –
The Warriors crushed the Los Angeles Lakers 111-77 to bring up their first record of the season, advancing to 16-0 to better the previous record for the best start to a campaign of 15-0 held by the 1993-94 Houston Rockets and the 1948-49 Washington Capitols. Unsurprisingly, Stephen Curry played a significant role in the win over the Lakers, contributing 24 points and nine assists.
– COMING UP SHORT –
The Warriors recorded their 28th straight regular season victory with a dramatic overtime win over the Boston Celtics, on December 11, prevailing 124-119 with Curry scoring 38 points and eight assists.
But the bid to overhaul the Los Angeles Lakers’ record of 33 consecutive victories set in the 1971-72 season came unstuck in the next game, a 108-95 defeat on the road to the Milwaukee Bucks.
– BUZZER-BEATER –
The record may have been clinched in the final game, but the Warriors would never have been in a position to seal win number 73 on Wednesday had it not been for Curry’s miraculous performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in February.
Curry poured on 46 points in a 121-118 overtime victory, before launching a buzzer-beating three-pointer from 35-feet to seal a remarkable victory. Curry’s late effort was one of 12 three-pointers in the game, equalling the single-game record held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall.
– LONG RANGE KING –
Curry cemented his reputation as the greatest long-range shooter the NBA has ever seen with another epic three-pointer against the Utah Jazz in March, finding the net with an extraordinary 55-footer on the halftime buzzer.
Curry’s prowess from distance has seen him take three-point shooting to unprecedented levels. He finished the regular season with an incredible 402 three-pointers.
– TOO HOT FOR SPURS –
A late-season wobble saw the Warriors beaten twice in three games in early April with a shock 106-109 defeat to the Boston Celtics at the Oracle Arena followed four days later with another unexpected reverse, a 124-117 loss at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Those setbacks reduced the Warriors’ drive for 73 to a simple equation: win the last four games. Given that two of those games included home and away matches with the San Antonio Spurs, the odds looked to have lengthened.
But the Warriors showed their champion pedigree by beating the Spurs in Oakland before traveling to Texas to shatter San Antonio’s dream of an unbeaten season at home to claim a record-equalling 72nd win.