By JUSTIN BAXLEY (@JbClusterSports)
Photo credit goes to NBA.com.
That's all that stands between the Golden State Warriors and immortality. They have already put together one of the greatest seasons in NBA history.
This year, the Warriors have walked away victoriously 72 times. That number ties the current mark of immortality set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
Of course, I don't think those Bulls ever had to face a 65+ win team twice in the final four games that season.
One thing that Bulls team did do, though, was lose the game after their 71st victory, 100-99 to the Indiana Pacers. So with the Warriors' 92-86 win over San Antonio Sunday, Golden State will have a chance to do something the Bulls never did: go 73-9.
The Warriors did everything they could to avoid this in Memphis on Saturday. They trailed entering the fourth quarter. They were down 10 with just under seven minutes left.
Steph Curry shot only 3-of-14 in the Warriors' win over the Grizzlies Saturday. Photo credit goes to indycornrows.com.
Steph Curry shot 3-of-14 from downtown. They were practically begging the team filled with 10-day contracts and D-Leaguers to end their shot at history.
The Warriors seem to do this a lot. Well, I guess a lot is relative with the Warriors.
Let's examine those nine losses by the Warriors. How many times have they lost a game this season to an inferior opponent?
You could make the case that nine times they have accomplished that feat. Since I am being realistic, they lost to one of the best teams in the history of the NBA who is also in the midst of doing something that has never been done.
Milwaukee Bucks (108-95)
I'll give you that the Warriors were coming off an overtime thriller to a good Boston team the night before, but they shouldn't have lost this game.
The Bucks are 32-47 overall and could end up with a top-10 pick in the draft. It's almost as if the Warriors were tired, but I'd make the case that they have a harder time getting up for games against opponents like this.
Dallas Mavericks (114-91)
This Dallas team has made more headlines for people that don't want to play for them than the ones that do. I'm looking at you Deandre Jordan. The Mavs are a talented squad and will be in the playoffs based on a late season surge.
But JJ Barea has led the charge for them. He isn't exactly LeBron James or Kobe Bryant (of old). Of course they do have Dirk Nowitzki, who still has the ability to turn back the clock and drop 40.
This game wasn't after a back-to-back. It was a mid-week game, but the road can be tough. I get that. It still feels like another example of this team not getting up for the games that don't seem to matter.
Denver Nuggets (112-110) and Detroit Pistons (113-95)
I am lumping these together because they happened just one game apart (a game against the Lakers was sandwiched in between). The Pistons are a solid group who can play with anyone. The Nuggets have played the Warriors tough all season. This could be their biggest lull of the season.
Portland Trail Blazers (137-105)
Damian Lillard. That's all I'm going to say.
Damian Lillard scored 51 points in the Trail Blazers' 137-105 win over Golden State Feb. 20.
Los Angeles Lakers (112-95)
They have a better shot at the No. 1 pick than winning another game this season. It's really sad that Kobe’s career is going to end like this, but at least he can say his team beat one of the most winningest teams in NBA history.
San Antonio Spurs (87-79)
OK, it's the Spurs. I get it. Now you have to beat them for the second time in a four-night span? It’s the same situation as the last time you visited San Antonio where this loss occurred.
Boston Celtics (109-106)
These Celtics are a playoff team with the chance to make a deep run. But they were also without Jae Crowder. I'll give them a pass as it's another playoff team at least.
Minnesota Timberwolves (124-117)
They were at home. They were up by 10. They lost in overtime.
This game should have never happened this way. They once again got lulled into thinking they can beat anyone with half effort. Now I get it, they get every team's best shot, but the Timberwolves’ best should not be good enough to beat the Warriors.
Maybe if they hadn't allowed these lower teams (non-playoff teams) to beat them then they would already be popping bottles celebrating 73.
But they aren't.