Warriors head to playoffs with historic 67 wins
The Golden State Warriors finished the regular season on a high note with a 133-126 victory over the Denver Nuggets to improve to 67-15 on the season, the sixth best record in NBA history.
The Warriors 82nd and final game of the regular season held no playoff implications for either team, with Golden State securely sitting atop the West and Denver having been eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago.
In the most meaningless game of the season, Golden State’s core starting five didn’t play in the second half, save a few minutes from Harrison Barnes. The game was eclipsed by news of the Pelicans beating the Spurs to earn the No. 8 seed in the West just minutes before the Warriors tipped off.
After the game Stephen Curry told SFBay he’s looking forward to a tough matchup against a gritty New Orleans team:
“They definitely fought hard the last two, three weeks of the season to get in the playoffs and that’s a credit to their toughness so we’ve got to get ready. It’s not going to be a cake walk, the records are zero-zero and they present a lot of strengths that we have to be ready for and prepare for.”
In the first half of Wednesday’s game, Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting just two nights after scoring 37 in the first half against the Grizzlies.
With corner threes from Barnes and fast break points off focused defense, the Warriors took a double-digit lead. But as the second unit trickled into the game, Warriors starters watched from the sidelines as the reserves allowed the Nuggets to scrape back into the game.
Opening the final quarter, former Warriors Summer League Championship MVP Ian Clark gave the Nuggets their first lead of the night on a fast break layup.
The score see-sawed, but the Marreese Speights led the reserves with 17 points and eight rebounds on the night, sparking a 11-0 run to close the game.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said the win was symbolic of the depth of his team and their efforts throughout the season:
“It was a good win and it was good that everybody got involved …We have a deep team and everybody has contributed and it showed tonight and all year.”
Kerr said he and his staff will waste no time getting ready for the post-season, telling SFBay the team will start with a film session and light practice Thursday:
“We’ve already worked on that a little with our advanced scouts and some work on New Orleans during the regular season, but we really have to put the game plan together and let the players know what we are tying to accomplish.”
The Warriors close out the regular season with a historic 67-15 record and will open the first round of the NBA playoffs Saturday at Oracle Arena against the New Orleans Pelicans at 12:30 p.m.
Golden State finished the 2014-15 campaign with a franchise-record 67 wins, becoming the 10th team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in a single season. … The Warriors notched their 39th home win of the season, another franchise-best mark and are the first Western Conference team in NBA history to win at least 39 games at home in a single season and the seventh team overall in NBA history to do so. … The Warriors finished the season as league leaders in both field goal percentage (.478) and opponent’s field goal percentage (.428), becoming the first team to lead the league in both categories over the course of a full season since the 1980-81 Philadelphia 76ers.