The Golden State Warriors proved they can play any style and win on Sunday. Their 72nd win may have been their most impressive win of the season, according to AP. Entering halftime, the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs were tied at 35. The low scoring affair played right into the Spurs’ wheelhouse, leaving the NBA wondering if the Warriors would ever win a regular season road game against San Antonio.
Once the Spurs jumped out to an 10-2 run in the third period, the dream of winning 73 games seemed in peril. However, Stephen Curry turned up the heat, leading the Warriors to a 92-86 victory, tying the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls for the most wins in NBA history.
Curry had 37 points, five assists, and five rebounds. He also shot 13 of 22 from the field, making four 3-pointers in the process. Yet, it was his forays to the basket that turned the Spurs defense into mush. Curry hit an assortment of shots, decimating the Spurs for 26 second half points.
“Obviously, we’re in the moment, enjoying the ride,” Curry said. “The goal is to win the championship. That’s the goal. But we put ourselves in a great position to end the season with a win and do something no team has done in the history” of the NBA. Curry knows it’s “an amazing accomplishment,” and you can only do one thing at a time.
While the Warriors were going for history, the Spurs had a little history to strive for as well. They were 39-0 at home and were trying to become the first team in the NBA to go 41-0. Instead, the Spurs fell short for the first time this season. Overall, they won 48 consecutive home games.
The Warriors took the season series 3-1, but the Spurs were shorthanded in all three losses. Meanwhile, the Warriors didn’t have their full complement of players in the lone loss, so a potential Western Conference Finals would be interesting, if not unpredictable. Still, it was great for the Warriors to finally get a road victory against the Spurs.
“Definitely sweet because we broke the streak,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. That’s all the media would talk about for the last few years. It’s tough to win here. It definitely was huge for us.”
Thompson didn’t have one of his vintage nights offensively, but he did enough on both ends of the floor. Thompson finished with 14 points and six rebounds, while holding Danny Green to two points. In fact, the Warriors played the better defense throughout the entire game.
“We can get to 73,” forward Draymond Green said. “That’s the significance for me of 72.” Green made 4 of 5 shots, scoring 11 points in 33 minutes of action. His defense in the front court was a difference for the Warriors.
The Spurs shot 37.8 percent from the field, and only 3 of 17 from 3-point range. Comparatively, the Warriors connected on 10 of 27 3-pointers, shooting a respectable 37 percent from downtown.
Although the Spurs missed a lot of shots early, they took a lead due to the offensive glass. They mauled the Warriors with 18 offensive rebounds. The Spurs also dished out 21 assists, while holding the Warriors to 19 assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge paced the Spurs with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Kawhi Leonard poured in 20 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks. Unfortunately, for the Spurs Leonard didn’t have a strong shooting night, hitting 7 of 22 from the field.
Curry made a 3-pointer in his 151st straight game. Sitting at 392 3-pointers, Curry needs eight more makes to reach the 400 milestone. Prior to this year, Curry held the NBA record of 286 makes.
The Warriors face the Memphis Grizzlies in the season finale. Their chance at history is on the line.