The Golden State Warriors (72-9) have already set numerous records this season. They’ve already fired off and hit 1,057 three-pointers, become the first team to never lose consecutive games or lose to the same team twice, according to ESPN.
Along with point guard Stephen Curry’s assured MVP campaign, Golden State’s on the precipice of overtaking another record: the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls mark of 72 victories in a single season.
All that’s left is a regular-season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies (42-39) for a shot at win No. 73 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors are fresh off a 92-86 victory over the rival San Antonio Spurs, highlighted by Curry’s 37 points, 26 of which came in the second half.
The win perhaps shook off some doubt that Golden State could break the Bulls long-standing record. The Warriors slipped to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves and the Boston Celtics in a three-game span at the start of April, but have since won three straight, including two over San Antonio.
One of those wins also came against the Grizzlies on Saturday. Forward Draymond Green totaled 23 points and 11 rebounds while Curry and shooting guard Klay Thompson dealt with uncharacteristic shooting woes and Golden State pulled out a 100-99 victory to keep their hopes of 73 wins alive.
Yet, despite losing their three previous matchups to Golden State this season, the Grizzlies won’t simply roll over as they jostle for playoff position. Memphis has already secured a postseason berth, currently sitting at No. 7 in the Western Conference, but could overtake the No. 6 Dallas Mavericks (42-39) if they can beat the Warriors.
The Mavericks face the Spurs, who have defeated Dallas four straight times dating back to last season. Memphis could move up to No. 6 with a victory over Golden State and a Mavericks loss.
Memphis, led by formidable big men Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, aren’t in danger of losing control of the No. 7 seed but they could avoid No. 2 San Antonio in the first-round. The Spurs swept their season series with Memphis this season, while the Grizzlies could move up to No. 6, where they would face the No. 3 Oklahoma City Thunder.
Memphis went 1-2 in three dates with the Thunder this season, and it ousted the Thunder in 2013 West semifinals in five games and nearly defeated them again in seven games two years ago.
But the Grizzlies have experienced a dreadful slide since point guard Mike Conley Jr. was lost for the rest of the season and the playoffs. Memphis has lost three straight and nine of its last 10 games, including Tuesday night’s 110-84 blowout against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Start Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Betting Odds: Warriors -19
Over/Under: 212.5 points