Yes, the big story coming out of Sunday night’s very playoff-like 92-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs is that the Warriors have tied the ‘95-’96 Chicago Bulls for the most wins in a single NBA season, with 72. But let’s take a moment to pay remembrance to two incredible streaks that ended on Sunday. The Warriors ended San Antonio’s undefeated home streak at 39 games, which means that the Spurs will have to beat the Western Conference’s third-best team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, to tie the ‘85-’86 Celtics for the best single-season home record. Though less historic, Sunday’s victory was the first Warriors win in San Antonio since Valentine’s Day, 1997, meaning that they had lost 33 straight games there and had never beaten a Spurs team with Tim Duncan on the roster in San Antonio.
Sunday’s win wasn’t quite the squeaker that Saturday’s 100-99 contest against Memphis was, but the environment was totally different. The first two Warriors-Spurs contests felt like two heavyweights figuring one another out—Sunday’s game was, in tempo and tactics, as close to a playoff game we’ve seen this season, and it was hopefully a preview of this year’s Western Conference Finals. The two teams combined for just 70 first-half points, but Steph Curry ultimately wore the Spurs down—especially Kawhi Leonard, the league’s best defensive player not named Draymond.
Golden State will have to beat the Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA’s equivalent of the Suicide Squad, again on Tuesday to beat the Chicago Bulls’ record. And they better beat it, too—I don’t want to live in a world where we spend the next several decades debating which team was better.