After tying the NBA record for most consecutive home games won last week by blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Golden State Warriors created history again on Monday by breaking the Chicago Bulls’ record from the 1995-96 season when they defeated the Orlando Magic.
The Bulls won 44 consecutive home games from March 30, 1995, until April 4, 1996. That guided them to a NBA record breaking season with 72 wins — a mark the Warriors are currently on pace to break after making light work of the Thunder for the third time this season.
“You can’t even dream that stuff up,” said Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr, who played on those Chicago teams. “It’s been that kind of season for us.”
Very little has gone wrong for Golden State this season, but on Sunday at the Staples Center, a red-hot Lakers outfit lead by Jordan Clarkson and DeAngelo Russell, had an unstoppable night blowing the defending champs out of the water. It was at that point that fans started to feel sorry for Orlando, and the rage fueled inferno that was about to rain down upon them.
Orlando never stood a chance facing a Warriors team that has yet to lose back-to-back games in ’15-16. If there’s one thing the Warriors don’t like it’s losing. And you could bet that they weren’t going to drop two games in a row, even more so when it’s on their home court. Led by a rampant Steph Curry, who had 41 points and 13 rebounds on the night, Orlando fought hard but never really stood a chance. From the start of the game, the Magic weren’t getting to the three-point shot, and Curry was losing Elfrid Payton courtesy of an Andrew Bogut screen every trip down the court resulting in a barrage of scoring from long range. This wasn’t a great game for the Warriors, though. 24 turnovers kept Orlando within reach throughout the game, and a lack of perimeter defense saw a lot of uncontested baskets for the Magic. Both areas that they need to work on before heading into another playoffs run.
Asked about the teams tendency to have trouble with turnovers, Kerr said: “46 turnovers in the last 36 hours. Inexcusable. Every team has 12 turnovers minimum, even the team leading the league has 12 or 13 – some are going to happen. But I could rattle off ten that were just inexcusable. It’s kind our our weakness, that sometimes the game comes too easy for our guys and they think they can do anything. They have a lot of talent and a lot of skill, and what we have to get back to is simple, simple simple. The simple leads to the spectacular.”
Even taking that into account, compared to Sunday’s game against the Lakers where Ian Clark was the only Warrior to hit more than one three pointer for the game, tonight Golden State’s offense was back firing on all cylinders in front of their home crowd. Curry shot 7 of 13 from long range with Thompson adding 27, including a clutch three, and Brandon Rush coming off the bench to knock down 11.
“It’s surprising if they (Curry and Thompson) don’t shoot well for more than a couple of games, they’re too good, too confident so this didn’t surprise me at all,” added Kerr.
Talking about what he thought of wrapping up the home winning streak record tonight, Kerr said: “Remarkable job by our players over the last 2 years. The consistency and the effort that it takes to do that is pretty amazing, and there’s so many games where the ball could bounce either way and we’ve definitely had some of those in the streak that we could have lost. We put ourselves in a position to win games and dominate our home floor and I’m really proud of the guys for that.”
A major plus for the Dubs at home is that Oracle Arena is a hostile environment for visiting teams. Having experienced some loud areas across his career, Kerr reflected on past Warrior crowds as a comparison to the present.
“I have memories of coming in here when the Warriors weren’t that good and it was a hard place to play because of the crowd,” he said. “It shows the loyalty that the fans have had to this franchise. It was always one of my favorite places to play as a player.”
Draymond Green had a tough night out committing seven turnovers, but when asked about the record he said, “It’s amazing, it says a lot about the focus level of this team to come in and protect home court every night. It says a lot about the support, and the fans come in here night in, night out and make it tough to get a win. You know it’s going to be loud, it’s going to be crazy when you come in here to play. That helps.
“It’s important to us because if we go 41 at home (this season), that gives us a great chance to get to 73. I’m thinking about it, I don’t know about everyone else, I am.”
Steph Curry also added to his ever growing list of achievements for the season by cruising past 300 three pointers. This smashes the pervious two highest records in a season, which were both his too. He brought up the 300 in style with a viscous cross then by draining the shot.
The Dubs have been steamrolling the Bulls records this season. They have already taken out the best start to an NBA season, and tonight the home winning streak record, but there’s still one more record that they’d like to have their name next to. The ’95-96 Bulls season has been talked about since the Warriors early season winning-streak, but now with record potentially set to tumble in the next month, can the Warrior blow the Bulls out of the record books once again?
Coach Kerr, along with Luke Walton, have already spoken a number of times this season about reeling in the 72-10 with both coaches reassuring the media that making sure the team is healthy and and rested heading into the playoffs is their priority.
“Resting, that will take precedence,” Kerr said, per Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears. “We will rest guys if they need it before we will go for any kind of streak or record, that’s for sure.”
That said, Walton also mentioned earlier this season that if the team gets to the 69-70 win mark, with a chance to break the record, they might start taking the record a little more seriously because it would be nice accolade to have.
When it comes down to close matches, I asked Kerr how he felt about playing in some tight games over the past few weeks where it looked like the Warriors might walk away with a loss, he told me “I Like winning. Winning is good.”
Feature Image: Fox Sports
Story Image: Mercury News