Riding the hot hand of shooting guard Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors (66-7) enter the final nine game stretch of their historic season on a 73-win pace. The Warriors have said they are better than last season, when they finished with 67-15 record, and are one win shy of proving it.
Thompson put up 40 points for the second straight game in Golden State’s 117-102 victory over the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, keeping the Warriors on track to surpass the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls (72-10) for the best regular season record in NBA history.
However, Steve Kerr's squad do have some potentially difficult matchups ahead. Three of the Warriors' next five opponents are probable playoff teams, including the Utah Jazz (36-37) on the road.
Golden State first hosts the Washington Wizards on Tuesday, then travels to Utah before a four-game home-stand versus the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and San Antonio Spurs. Altogether, the Warriors will play seven games against postseason-caliber squads in their final nine matchups.
But home court is on Golden State’s side. Thompson, along with triple-double machine Draymond Green and fellow “Splash Brother” and reigning MVP Stephen Curry, play six of their of their final nine games at home. That fact should be a major boon to the Warriors' chances of surpassing the Bulls as they’re a perfect 35-0 at Oracle Arena this season.
But even the road’s been kind to the Warriors. They’ve gone 31-7 away from the Oracle, and the Warriors already claimed three victories against Utah this season.
Also, other than Portland, Golden State hasn’t lost to any of their upcoming opponents. Last month the Warriors outgunned John Wall and the Wizards 134-121 behind Curry’s 51 points, and back on Mar. 9 they claimed a 21-point victory over the Jazz. The Celtics, however, were one of the peskier opponents Golden State’s faced this year. The Warriors needed double overtime to put Boston down, with Curry struggling from the field on 9-for-27 shooting.
And despite their 24-49 record, the Timberwolves have pushed the Warriors to the brink this season. Curry also struggled from the field in a Mar. 21 win, 109-104, but Green emerged with 24 points, nine rebounds, and six assists to steady the ship.
Currently, Golden State is also still one game ahead of the record-setting Bulls. Chicago's record in the final nine games was 7-2.
Warriors Next 5 Games
Tuesday, March 29 vs. Washington, 10:30 p.m. ET (CSN Bay Area, TNT)
Wednesday, March 30 at Utah, 9 p.m. ET (CSN Bay Area)
Friday, April 1 vs. Boston, 10:30 p.m. ET (CSN Bay Area, ESPN)
Sunday, April 3 vs. Portland, 8 p.m. ET (CSN Bay Area, NBA TV)
Tuesday, April 5 vs. Minnesota, 10:30 p.m. ET (CSN Bay Area, TNT)