Stephen Curry now truly belongs in the same sentence with Michael Jordan. Curry and the rest of the Golden State Warriors have earned their place in history by matching an NBA milestone that once upon a time seemed as unreachable as Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game and Bill Russell’s 11 championships as a player.
But amazing things can happen when talented players share the ball, defend and actually take the regular season seriously. Imagine that.
And by Wednesday, the Golden State Warriors can complete their run at the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls by posting one more victory at home in their final regular-season game.
“That’s the opportunity we have now,” Curry said following Sunday’s 92-86 win over the Spurs in San Antonio, “so why not?”
The Warriors got to 72 wins on Sunday the hard way: beating a conference rival that had won all 39 home games this season. Plus, the Warriors never win in San Antonio. Their last regular-season win along the Riverwalk was 1997, when Curry was 8 years old. Tim Duncan was a senior at Wake Forest.
“Nobody, and I mean nobody, beats the Golden State Warriors 34 straight times,” Steve Kerr joked afterwards.
After snapping a 33-game losing streak to San Antonio, the Warriors can set a record at home Wednesday by beating the Memphis Grizzlies.
Golden State is 72-9, including an NBA-record 34 road wins. The Warriors also became the first team in league history to go an entire season without back-to-back losses. Think about that: not one losing streak since the season began in late October.
“We have a great group of guys that really sacrifice every night, care about each other and try to play the right away,” said Curry, who scored 16 of his 37 points in the third quarter.
It’s refreshing that in a day and age when some NBA players and even some teams view the regular season as an 82-game inconvenience, the defending champions have taken the more professional approach. Try telling Draymond Green the regular season is meaningless.
This was a trying week for the Warriors, starting with a stunning home loss to the Timberwolves. Two nights later, they defeated the Spurs in Oakland to clinch the best overall record and suddenly Kerr was talking crazy. The Warriors coach, who was a reserve guard on the Bulls’ 72-win team, broached the idea of resting his stars if that was in fact what the players wanted.