OAKLAND, Calif., Sporting Alert — While Kobe Bryant was bidding farewell to the NBA, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors were busy making history Wednesday night.
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Entering the final night of the regular season fixtures sitting one win away from eclipsing the NBA record for wins before the playoffs, Curry scored 46 points to lead the hosts to a record 73rd victory, and the Warriors moved past Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the record book.
Jordan took the time congratulate the new record holders, adding that the defending champions “have been a lot of fun to watch.”
“I want to congratulate the Warriors on their amazing season,” Jordan said. “The game of basketball is always evolving and records are made to be broken.
“The Warriors have been a lot of fun to watch and I look forward to seeing what they do in the playoffs.”
The history making 125-104 win came against the Memphis Grizzlies, as Golden State became the first 73-win team, as they finished the regular season campaign with single digit losses.
“It’s a great way to finish off what was an amazing regular season,” said Golden State coach Steve Kerr, a member of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team that set the previous mark 20 years ago.
Kerr also admitted that he never thought any other team would have gotten close to breaking the record.
“I just told our guys I never in a million years would have guessed that that record would ever be broken,” he revealed.
“I thought it was like DiMaggio’s hit streak, really. I was wrong, but I will say the same thing now that I said 20 years ago, `I don’t think this one will ever be broken.’ Somebody’s got to go 74-8. I don’t see it, and I hope our fans aren’t expecting that next year.”
Meanwhile, reigning league MVP Curry also added to his fruitful individual career shooting milestone, as the star guard became the first player in NBA history to knock down 400 three-pointers in a single season.
Curry, who started the contest hot after scoring 20 points in the first quarter – shot 15 of 24 overall from the floor and made 10 of 19 from 3-point range on his way to making 402 total 3s in front of a sellout Oracle Arena.
“At a certain point, about eight minutes in the first quarter, I was able to toe the line a couple times, knock it down and things started to flow,” Curry said.
“I was searching for it at that point because I made a couple. Kind of let it come to me and then have some fun with it.”
Klay Thompson added 16 points, Harrison Barnes scored 15 points and six rebounds and Draymond Green finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the win for Golden State, which will be looking to build off this remarkable run as they enter the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Zach Randolph scored 24 points and has six rebounds to lead the way for Memphis.
Lance Stephenson had 22 points and JaMychal Green added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Grizzlies.
The Golden State Warriors will now open their 2016 playoffs campaign against the Houston Rockets on Saturday in the first round opener.
Memphis Grizzlies will visit the San Antonio Spurs to start the playoffs on Sunday.