Tonight is make or break for Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors are chasing win No. 73 in the regular season. Coming off a win against the Spurs, the Warriors take a shot at history against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Golden State is 72-9 this season. The team has been stellar across the throughout their 81 games. The Warriors rank first in assists per game (28.9). They are the only team in the NBA to have at least 30 assists in 42 games this season. No other team in the league has done it even 20 times. Golden State also knows when to take the shot. The team as a whole is known for their 3 pointers. They’ve made 1,057 baskets behind the arc during this 2015-2016 season. No other team has ever hit more than 950 total in a season.
However, their star stats come in the form of Stephen Curry, the reigning MVP of the NBA. The best part? He’s even better this season. Curry increased his scoring average by more than six points per game in comparison to last year’s MVP campaign. He increased his field goal percentage from .487 to .502, and shattered his own three-ponit record. Curry now enters his final game with a 31.3 player efficiency rating (per), and will attempt to match record holder Will Chamberlain’s 31.8 per set in the 1962-1963 season. Even though his individual stats shine, it is the team effort that will make history. The magnitude of tonight’s win is not lost on Curry.
The defending NBA champions also have a great shot at postseason success. Each team to win at least 69 games in a season has gone on to win the title, including the 72-win Bulls (1995-96), 69-win Bulls (1996-97) and 69-win Lakers (1971-72).
Only the Grizzlies stand in the way of Golden State’s record. The Warriors beat the Grizzlies by 50 points at home in November, but faced a serious challenge against them last Friday. Golden State rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter for a 100-99 road win. Draymond Green scored the game’s final points on a tip-in with one minute left for the Warriors first one-point win of the season. Tonight, Golden State hosts the Grizzlies for their final game of the season and a chance at history. The Warriors should feel comfortable in Oracle Arena, having only lost two games at home this season.
Tip off is set for 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.