Oakland, CA – Well, if the Golden State Warriors looked fatigued, tired or exhausted, they didn’t show any signs last night against the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors handed the Spurs a good beat down when they reached a milestone of seventy wins after their 122-101 victory. Golden State needs three more games to pass the Chicago Bulls 72-10 record set in 1995-96.
“Two teams in the history of this game have reached where we are right now,” said Stephen Curry. “It’s a proud moment, we wanted to take care of tonight and clinch home court for the playoffs, was a goal of ours. With three games left and 73 still there, it’s obviously a lot to play for.”
It was a collective effort from all, Stephen Curry finished with 27 points and Harrison Barnes had 21. Curry had seven points on eight shots in the first half, but turned it up a notch in the second half. He was 3-for-7 on three’s but made his presence more in the paint driving in layup after layup. It was pretty obvious the Spurs defense broke down early.
The Warriors outscored the Spurs 35-29, and clinched homecourt throughout the NBA playoffs and became the second team in NBA history to reach 70 wins. The only thing left to do is win two games on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio. It won’t be an easy task, especially since the Spurs have been perfect at home this season.
The Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot last night but are still fighting for position as they are a game ahead of the Portland Trailblazers who are behind them in the fifth spot. Golden State avoided losing back-to-back games this season, they lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night. But returned to Oracle looking better than ever.
Head coach Steve Kerr, who weeks ago expressed that his team will go after 73 wins, said last night that he may rest his guys despite making history. While many feel the rest is better than going hard for the next three games to chase history. But it’s not going to be an easy decision as his young guys want it all. Setting a new record and winning the championship must go hand-in-hand and they believe they can do it.
“We are going to talk about it tomorrow,” Kerr said. “We’ve been putting it off for as long as we were able to, which was until we got the 1-seed. Now that we have that, I’m inclined to give some guys some rest if they need it, but I’ve sort of made a pact with the guys that if they are not banged up and they are not tired and if they want to go for this record or whatever then — so we got to talk.”
“Think about the year we’ve had: started 24-0, haven’t lost two in a row all year, have had several streaks of seven-plus wins in a row, yet we’re still sitting here needing three in a row,” said Draymond Green. “That tells you how hard this is to do. Most of the guys in the locker room are all in and we’ll figure that out this weekend.”
Harrison Barnes led the way early before Curry went off in the second half scoring 15 points in the third. Green added 18 to help the Warriors clinch the number one seed in the playoffs. The Warriors outscored and outrebounded San Antonio on every level. The Spurs were without Boris Diaw who is out with a sore right abductor and they needed everyone to beat Golden State.
Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points but didn’t get much help from his teammates who were cold from the field. Tony Parker finished with 10 points while Manu Ginobili had 6. While San Antonio’s bench gave more effort than their starters who were predicted to sit out this game, played a lack luster game against the more energized Warriors.
”You can’t make mistakes against these guys,” said head coach Gregg Popovich. “Best team on the planet. If you lose your concentration defensively or you shoot ill-advised shots or don’t move the ball and give it back to them quickly, you’re in big trouble.”