Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors took their last shot at Michael Jordan and history and they swished it — for 73.
Down to their final chance at the record, the Warriors became the first team in the NBA to win 73 games in the regular season, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104 on Wednesday night. It broke what many considered an unmatchable mark set 20 years ago by Jordan’s Chicago Bulls — oh, and Golden State coach Steve Kerr, too.
“I want to congratulate the Warriors on their amazing season,” Jordan said in a statement. “The game of basketball is always evolving and records are made to be broken. The Warriors have been a lot of fun to watch and I look forward to seeing what they do in the playoffs.”
Curry achieved yet one more shooting milestone, becoming the first player to make 400 3-pointers in a season by knocking down 10 from long range on the way to 46 points and 402 total 3s. Golden State saved one last record for the closing day of the regular season, and did it for a roaring, sellout home crowd at Oracle Arena. Yet these Warriors want nothing more than to build off their remarkable run so far and ride it to another title.
Draymond Green had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as defending champion Golden State (73-9) topped the Jordan-led 1995-96 Bulls who went 72-10.
“It’s a great way to finish off what was an amazing regular season,” Kerr said. “I just told our guys I never in a million years would have guessed that that record would ever be broken. I thought it was like DiMaggio’s hit streak, really. I was wrong, but I will say the same thing now that I said 20 years ago, ‘I don’t think this one will ever be broken.’ Somebody’s got to go 74-8. I don’t see it, and I hope our fans aren’t expecting that next year.”
When the final buzzer sounded, Green bounded onto the floor and grabbed the game ball as confetti streamed down and “73 WINS” appeared on the scoreboard.
“We were going to play 82 games, anyway,” Green said. “We might as well try to win. It means that I’m on the best team ever. Not many people can say that — 15 guys can say that.”
President Barack Obama sent a tweet that said: “Congrats to the (at)warriors, a great group of guys on and off the court. If somebody had to break the Bulls’ record, I’m glad it’s them.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement, saying: “Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors on their 73rd win and the best regular-season record in NBA history. The team held itself to a high standard throughout the season, playing with purpose every night and captivating fans around the world with its free-flowing style, spectacular shooting and flair for the dramatic. Kudos to the entire Warriors organization.”