After suffering a shocking overtime defeat to Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, Golden State Warriors found themselves in a sticky situation going into the final four regular season games. They will now need to win all four of their remaining games to surpass the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls as the greatest regular season team in NBA history.
The 69-9 Warriors will need to beat the San Antonio Spurs (65-12) twice and Memphis Grizzlies (42-36) in order to get to 73-9 and better Michael Jordan’s Bulls who set the record at 72-10.
While the Spurs were previously expected to rest their starters for those two high-profile contests against the Warriors, coach Gregg Popovich has persisted with his best players in recent games, which includes the narrow 88-86 victory against Utah Jazz on Tuesday.
Warriors and Curry’s off-night…
Stephen Curry, the league MVP, shot a paltry 7/25 from the field and 4/14 from deep as the Warriors committed 24 turnovers to squander an early 17-point lead. It was a very uncharacteristic game for the Warriors, who allowed the Timberwolves to dominate them on pick-and-rolls. |Final Box Score|
Klay Thompson, too, had a poor shooting night, going 4/11 from deep for his 28 points from 40 minutes. Curry had 21 points, 15 assists and 3 steals from 43 minutes.
For The Timberwolves, Andrew Wiggins led the way with 32 points, 6 steals, 4 assists and 5 rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 2 blocks.
After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr acknowledged that his team was under pressure going into the final four games. “You have so much media attention and everybody talking about breaking the record and you lose focus a little bit. The same thing happened 20 years ago (with Chicago). We didn’t play well down the stretch. This doesn’t surprise me. It’s easy to get lost in all this stuff. We haven’t been very dialed in of late.”
Remember, Kerr was part of that Chicago roster as a player. Therefore, he knows what it’s like to win 70+ games in a season. “We put ourselves in a position where it’s a realistic goal. We have to embrace the challenge. Obviously it’s not easy to get it done. We’re proving that right now,” said Curry, who reckons his team can achieve the improbable feat.
Will the Warriors win their final four games?