Back on March 28, the Warriors won their 60th game of the season, making it three seasons in a row in which they’ve accomplished that feat. On Wednesday night, they achieved another trifecta, as they clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference for the third season in a row with a 120-111 victory in Phoenix.
Golden State stormed out to a 41-18 lead in the first quarter, thanks to Shaun Livingston’s accidental 3, and Steph Curry’s outburst; he poured in 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting. It wasn’t easy from there, however. The Suns answered right back, winning the second quarter 34-17 to cut the Warriors’ lead to six points at the break.
Phoenix continued to battle the whole way, crashing the glass relentlessly, grabbing 20 offensive rebounds, and had the deficit down to three points with four minutes remaining. Their young backcourt of Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker combined for 41 points, and Jared Dudley nearly notched a triple-double, finishing with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Without those two, and Durant still sidelined, it was the Splash Brothers who led the way, unsurprisingly. Building on his huge first quarter, Curry finished with 42 points, and Thompson finished with 22, as they combined for over half of the Warriors’ 120 points.
The victory was No. 13 in a row for the Warriors; they tied the Heat for the longest winning streak in the NBA this season. It was also win No. 65; the Warriors became the first team in NBA history to win 65-plus games in three consecutive seasons.
With the way they were playing, and Kevin Durant set to return soon, the Warriors were looking like the favorite in the Western Conference. But now, it’s official: The road to the Finals out West runs through Oracle Arena.