The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls closed out what many consider the greatest season in NBA history with a record 72-10 record, resulting in an .878 winning percentage in the regular season on their way to the first championship of a second three-peat.
This year’s defending champion Golden State Warriors (42-4) are already on pace to blow past that Michael Jordan-led Bulls squad, and they should be able to keep pace in their final five-game stretch before the NBA All-Star break.
With 36 games left in the regular season, Golden State needs to go 30-6 to equal Chicago’s all-time record, or 31-5 break it. At this point of their magical run, the Bulls were 41-5 (89.1 winning percentage) and had just suffered back-to-back losses. Golden State has yet to lose two games in a row this season.
Continuing to build on their torrid 24-0 start to the season, the Warriors and point guard Stephen Curry have recently rattled off five straight victories, including a 20-point blowout of Dallas on Wednesday and a 30-point dismantling of San Antonio on Monday, upping their winning percentage to 91.3 and staying on track for roughly 75 regular season wins.
Both of those squads are either part of the NBA’s elite (San Antonio) or on pace to make the postseason (Dallas), but the Warriors have a far easier road ahead of them as the first-half of the regular season comes to a close.
And as explained below, Golden State's taken down the NBA's best and equally turned back its lesser squads.
Only two of the Warriors next five games are against teams currently in the postseason race, and both of those matchups will be home at Oracle Arena where Golden State’s gone a perfect 22-0 this season. The Spurs own the only other blemish-free home record at 25-0.
Golden State next travels to play the downtrodden Philadelphia 76ers (7-40), followed by the New York Knicks (22-25) and the Washington Wizards (20-23). The Warriors then return to the Oracle to face the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-13), and the Houston Rockets (25-23).
Together that group’s posted a 109-124 record, and only Oklahoma City and Houston are currently in contention to make the playoffs. Golden State already held off Houston twice this year, notching a 112-92 win in the second game of the season and then a four-point triumph on New Year’s Eve behind shooting guard Klay Thompson’s 38 points.
Golden State has yet to play the powerful Thunder squad led by All-Star Game starters Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, a tandem that’s gathered 35 wins and third place in the Western Conference standings. And their meeting on Feb. 6 will be the first of three matchups in the Warriors next 11 games, serving as a major test to their record-setting aspirations and later in the postseason.
But the real test standing in Golden State’s road to glory comes right after the All-Star break. The Warriors will burst out of the second-half gate with a seven-game road trip, equaling their longest journey of the season and all but two of those games will be against opponents currently in the postseason.
Here’s a quick look at Golden State’s schedule for the next couple of weeks.
Warriors Next 5 Games
Saturday, Jan. 30 at Philadelphia
Sunday, Jan. 31, at New York
Wednesday, Feb. 3 at Washington
Saturday, Feb. 6 vs. Oklahoma City
Tuesday, Feb. 9 vs. Houston