The Golden State Warriors are one win closer to breaking the Bulls record. With four games left in the season, Golden State needed to win their remaining four games.
The Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs 112-101 on Thursday night in another soldout game at Oracle Arena. Just 48 hours after losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves in overtime in Oakland, the Warriors responded in a big way against the second best team in all of the NBA.
Stephen Curry and the Warriors become just the second team in NBA history to get to 70 wins a season, joing Steve Kerr's Bulls team of the 90's, and also clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs with the victory over the Spurs.
Win Number 70
70 wins. That is simply amazing.
Stephen Curry scored a game-high 27 points on 11-19 from the field to go with five boards and nine dimes. Curry was just 3-7 from beyond the arc and also had a pair of steals in 36 minutes. Harrison Barnes had 21 points on 8-13 shooting with eight rebounds, while Draymond Green had 18 points on a 7-12 clip with six boards and seven dimes.
Klay Thompson finished with 14 points and six assists on 5-13 from the field. The fifth starter, center Andrew Bogut, had just six points but on a perfect 3-3 night to go with 11 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.
The bench scoring was pretty balanced, as six players combined to score 26 points on the night off the pine.
The Warriors led the Spurs in every statistical cateory except for turnovers and steals. Golden State shot 54 percent overall from the field and an incredible 48 percent from beyond the arc. The Warriors finished 12-25 from three-point land, and shot a 90 percent mark from the line, missing just one free throw all game.
Curry was quiet during the first half, but exploded in the third quarter with 15 points and four assists after the intermission. Curry was able to drive to the basket with ease and that ultimately helped his teammates be open for shots.
The Warriors had lost two of their last three home games, to the Celtics and Timberwolves, respectively, but bounced back against the Spurs to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time all year long.
Spurs Battle, Come up Short
This was not a bad game for the Spurs by any means. While rumors had swirled about Gregg Popovich resting his starters down the stretch of the season, the Hall of Fame coach elected to play his starters in the highly anticipated matchup between the NBA's top two teams.
Usually when the Spurs shoot 48 percent from the field and 43 percent from beyond the arc, it results in a win. The Warriors were just a tad better on Thursday night, and the path is set for a potential Warriors-Spurs seven-game series in the Western Conference Finals.
The Spurs did struggle from the charity stripe, finishing just 16-23 from the line to finish at 69 percent.
Kawhi Leonard led all Spurs scorers, like usual, with 23 points on 8-12 from the field, including a tough fadeaway jumper in the third quarter that had Kobe Bryant written all over it.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 11 points on just 5-16 from the field, while Tim Duncan finished with four points and three boards on 2-6 shooting in just 19 minutes.
Aldridge left the game late in the first quarter after dislocating his right pinky finger. The Spurs trainers taped it to his ring finger and Aldridge returned to action in the second quarter.
Tony Parker finished the game with 10 points on 4-10 from the field and Danny Green had nine points on 3-7 from the field, including 3-6 from beyond the arc.
The Spurs bench was solid as it always is. David West had 11 points and seven assists on 4-5 from the field, while Kyle Anderson had eight points and 11 boards. Kevin Martin added 10 points with four boards and four assists on 3-5 from the field in just 15 minutes off the bench.
The Spurs have another shot to beat the Warriors and ruin their chance at breaking the Bulls record on Sunday, this time in San Antonio. The Spurs have four games remaining. San Antonio will play Denver on the road on Friday night, then Golden State and Oklahoma City in San Antonio, before finishing the season at Dallas on Wednesday night against the Mavericks.
Warriors Quest to 73
The Warriors have three games left, and need three more wins to break the Bulls win record. Golden State has no easy path to do it, however.
The Warriors will play the Grizzlies in Memphis on Saturday, then head to San Antonio to play the Spurs on Sunday. If they get past those teams, the Warriors will have a chance to get win number 73 at Oracle Arena on "Mamba Day", Wednesday night against the Grizzlies in the final game of the season.