In a season that has seen as much detraction as praise, the Golden State Warriors had another chance on April 13—the last game of the regular season—to silence critics and break the ’95–96 Chicago Bulls NBA record for most wins in a season. They did just that with a 125–104 win over the Memphis Grizzlies to become the first team to ever win 73.
“We have so many guys that sacrifice; everybody has a role in this team,” said Stephen Curry in a postgame ESPN interview with Doris Burke. “They come in every night with that focus of playing that role to the best of their ability, knowing that’s going to be the best way for us to win games. All being locked in, tied in together that’s what it takes.”
Stephen Curry finished with a team high of 46 points, shooting 15-for-24 from the field, with 10 of those shots coming from behind the arc. Curry finished the regular season with 402 three-pointers, an accomplishment no player has ever done before in a single season. He held the previous record for three pointers in a season with 286, which he set last year.
“At a certain point, about eight minutes in the first quarter, I was able to toe the line a couple times, knock it down and things started to flow,” Curry said. “I was searching for it at that point because I made a couple. Kind of let it come to me and then have some fun with it.”
The reigning MVP is also the first player since Michael Jordan (in the 1991-1992 season) to shoot 50 percent from the field and average 30 points per game. Jordan, who led the ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls to a 72–10 record, offered his congratulations to the new record-holders.
“I want to congratulate the Warriors on their amazing season,” Jordan said in a statement. “The game of basketball is always evolving and records are made to be broken. The Warriors have been a lot of fun to watch and I look forward to seeing what they do in the playoffs.”
The first round of the playoffs begin when the Golden State Warriors take on the Houston Rockets at the Oracle Arena on April 16.
For now, the Golden State Warriors are soaking in the historic moment, a moment Jordan wanted the team to have—according to Draymond Green.
Green finished with 11 points and nine rebounds, and had been extremely vocal about wanting to make history. He is glad to have done so.
“We were going to play 82 games, anyway,” Green said. “We might as well try to win. It means that I’m on the best team ever. Not many people can say that—15 guys can say that.”
One half of the “Splash Brothers” Klay Thompson (the other half is Steph Curry) added 14 points, while Harrison Barnes dropped in 15 points for the Warriors.
“It’s a great way to finish off what was an amazing regular season,” Coach Steve Kerr said. “I just told our guys I never in a million years would have guessed that that record would ever be broken.” Kerr, ironically was a player on the ’95–96 Chicago Bulls team.
“I thought it was like DiMaggio’s hit streak, really. I was wrong, but I will say the same thing now that I said 20 years ago, `I don’t think this one will ever be broken.’ Somebody’s got to go 74–8. I don’t see it, and I hope our fans aren’t expecting that next year,” Kerr said.