Well, they did it. The Golden State Warriors achieved basketball immortality on Wednesday, throttling the Grizzlies, 125-104, to finish with an NBA-record 73 wins and become the first team in league history to finish with single-digit losses.
Steph Curry scored 46 points in 30 minutes, hitting 10 three-pointers in the process.
So, now that 73 has been achieved, how much did it mean to Golden State?
“Well, it’s interesting,” CSN Bay Area Warriors play-by-play voice Bob Fitzgerald said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “When they started 24-0, you don’t even think about crazy numbers because it’s just too far away. They won 67 last year and there’s 10 teams that had won 67. No team and ever exceeded that the following year – except now this team. Everybody else had taken a step backwards. I think when they got to 50-4, 50-5, I think that’s when Draymond Green kind of said, ‘I’m a winner. I want to be known as a winner. As a matter of fact, I want to be known as the greatest winner.’ And the way you do that is to do this indelible imprint in the record books and go for it.
“There really was the idea of, hey, if anyone needs rest or is dinged up or is hurt, tell the coaches and do what you need to do,” Fitzgerald said. “But if you’re ready to roll, let’s set it as a goal and let’s go for it. So Draymond was very public about it. You didn’t have guys sit out and rest. They didn’t do the San Antonio thing that Gregg Popovich does so well. (The Spurs are) running a marathon. (The Warriors) were sprinting from mile 23 to 26 – and they sprinted right into the history books.”
Fitzgerald has a lot of great memories from this season.
“Well I’m going to remember 24-0 to start a year – and that’s without Steve Kerr,” he said. “That was ridiculously good. Best start ever. Fifty-four straight home wins bridging the two seasons, that’s an NBA record. Thirty-four road wins, that’s an NBA record. But the one that I’ll never really get over is they lost back-to-back games, and that’s an NBA record. I just don’t know how you play 82 times and never misstep. It’s almost (like) when someone beat them, they got angry and made sure people didn’t beat them (again) for a long time. So the resiliency and the bounce-back of that was something special.”
As for individual games, Curry’s three from the parking lot to beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City won’t be forgotten, nor will Golden State’s win in San Antonio this past Sunday. That win ended the Spurs’ home-winning streak, ended a franchise regular-season losing streak in San Antonio that dated back to 1997, tied the Bulls’ record for 72 wins, and gave the Warriors their NBA-record 34th road win.
“It was a bump-and-grind game, more of a Spurs style,” Fitzgerald said. “And to do it in their building? That’s going to be a game I always remember.”