Warriors Set Record, Become First Team to Start Season 16-0
Update 9:55 p.m. Tuesday:
The Golden State Warriors set a new record for the best season start in NBA history, moving to 16-0 after blowing out the Los Angeles Lakers 111 to 77 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
The game was never really in question as the hapless Lakers struggled to keep up with the defending-NBA champion Warriors from the opening tip-off.
Despite an unusually mediocre shooting first half, the Dubs still led by 19 points after the first quarter and by 16 at halftime, before turning it on in the second half. The team opened up a 34-point lead going into the fourth quarter, before closing out the blowout in front of a raucous home crowd.
As usual, league-MVP Stephen Curry led a balanced Warriors effort, scoring 24 points before sitting out the fourth quarter, along with the other starters, with the record-setting game well in-hand.
Dating back to last season, the team has now won 20 straight regular season games, which is tied for the fourth longest streak in NBA history.
The undefeated Warriors return to action Friday night when they travel to Phoenix to take on the Suns, who are currently 7-7 this season.
“Beat L.A.” (again) and the Golden State Warriors will set a record for the best start in NBA history — 16-0.
After beating the Nuggets 118-105 Sunday night for their 15th straight victory to open the 2015-2016 season, the team hosts the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night with history on the line.
We recently wrote about the team's hot streak and tried to give some historical context to the Dubs' dominant start. Since then, they have not disappointed, reeling off another five wins against some stiff competition.
At 15-0, they are now tied with two other NBA teams, the '48-49 Washington Capitols and the ’93-94 Houston Rockets, for the best regular season start in NBA history. That Rockets team finished the season 58-24, and went on to win the NBA Finals.
After Monday’s practice, Steph Curry told KQED reporter Sara Hossaini that part of the team’s success so far this season is not getting ahead of itself.
“We really didn't talk about the record or anything until two games ago ... It was really hard for us to kind of visualize that 15 and 0 number when you're 9, 10 and 0. There are obviously a lot of great teams in front of you, you don't want to skip ahead.”
Standing in their way is a not-great, 2-11 Lakers team that has lost three games in a row and is second only to the winless Philadelphia 76ers for the worst record in the NBA. But could L.A. pull off an upset Tuesday night at Oracle Arena?
"You can't write off NBA teams," Rick Tittle, host for 95.7 The Game, said on KQED ForumMonday morning. But, the Warriors "will not take the Lakers lightly ... I would be shocked if L.A. wins tomorrow night," he said.
So, what's the formula to beat a seemingly unbeatable team?
"What you're hoping for now is just a cold night from just about everybody," Tittle said.
On this current streak, that simply has not happened.
Dating back to last season, the Warriors are riding a 19-game regular season winning streak— tied for the sixth-longest streak in league history. A win Tuesday, would make them just the sixth team ever to win at least 20 straight regular season games. The longest streak ever is 33 games, set by the ’71-72 Lakers.
(To get WAY ahead of ourselves for just a minute, a potential 33rd victory would have to come in a marquee Christmas Day matchup against LeBron James and the Cavs. Think the NBA and ABC would be a TAD excited about that one?)
“To the Warriors ... joy is a weapon, an essential aspect of winning. Their fun is your demise.
“This team boasts an esprit de corps that’s as much an ingredient to winning as it is a product of winning. Golden State unleashes bench celebrations that rival their alluring play on the floor. It’s all part of the joy, all part of the competition.
For all the arrests, concussions and general handwringing that characterize sports, less often is the word "joy" used. Even more rare is it actually warranted.
According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, there might be more joy on the horizon for this team and their fans — the Warriors have a 95 percent probability of winning Tuesday night to go to 16-0.
They have a 4 percent chance of entering the Dec. 25 game against the Cavs unbeaten, and a 10 percent chance of winning 72 games, which would match the all-time record, set by the '95-96 Chicago Bulls.
This graphic from ESPN Stats & Information compares those two squads: