The Road to 73: Curry, Warriors dominate Pelicans, pick up 60th win
The Golden Sate Warriors remain one game ahead of 1995-96 Bulls' pace and are on track to win more than 72 games this season.
We may never know what Stephen Curry wished for on his 28th birthday. But if it was for the Golden State Warriors to continue their historic chase of the ‘95-96 Chicago Bulls’ record of 72 regular season wins, then Curry’s wish moved one step closer to becoming a reality on Monday.
Celebrating his birthday with a victory, Curry poured in 27 points and led the Warriors to a dominant 125-107 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans kept it close in the first quarter and ended the half down by nine points. Yet its inability to make a shot in the third (5-of-27, 18.5 percent) doomed New Orleans. With the Pelicans missing shots and unable to score against Golden State’s tough defense, the Warriors stepped on the gas pedal, scoring 35 points in the third to run away with the game.
Curry shot 10-of-16 from the field and 4-for-9 from 3-point range, to finish with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists. Draymond Green also had a strong game, recording 14 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Both Curry and Green were able to sit out the entire fourth quarter since Golden State had built such a large lead at the end of the third. Klay Thompson played for a few minutes in the fourth though and finished with 18 points, going 7-of-11 from the field.
With the win, Golden State (60-6) became the fastest team in NBA history to reach the 60-win plateau. Golden State is still one game ahead of the pace of the 95-96 Bulls, who were 59-7 at this point of their season. According to SportsLine's projections, Golden State now has a 66.6 percent chance of surpassing 72 wins. The Warriors are also still undefeated at home this season with a perfect 31-0 record and have expanded their current win streak to five games.
Here’s how the Warriors’ record stacks up at the 66-game mark against the three other best records in NBA history:
The Warriors have one more game at home this week, facing off against the sub .500 Knicks on Wednesday. On Friday, they head to Dallas, the scene of one of their six losses. This was a game Curry did not play in though due to an injury. He is of course healthy now so should be available to play unless Warriors head coach Steve Kerr opts to rest the reigning MVP.
Rest for Golden State’s star players like Curry, Klay Thompson and Green would be crucial for the Warriors on Friday since they play the Spurs on Saturday in the second night of a back-to-back. The Warriors crushed the Spurs earlier in the season but San Antonio was playing without Tim Duncan, who is crucial to their defensive effort. Also this game is in San Antonio, where like the Warriors, the Spurs have not lost a single game all season.
If the Warriors lose to the Spurs, they will still have a shot at breaking the '95-96 Bulls' record. It will just be a bit more difficult as Golden State will have to win 11 of their final 13 games to get to 73 wins. But as the Warriors have shown all season, they are more than capable of making history. Why doubt them now?
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