After the Golden State Warriors reached 70 wins on the season and clinched the No. 1 seed through the playoffs with their 112–101 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, coach Steve Kerr was faced with a difficult decision.
Following the game, he told reporters he wanted to rest his players through the final three games of the season to ensure they are ready for the playoffs, but acknowledged that chasing the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls’ NBA-best 72-win record was a consideration for the team.
“We are going to talk about it tomorrow,” Kerr said, according to ESPN. “We’ve been putting it off for as long as we were able to, which was until we got the one seed. Now that we have that, I’m inclined to give some guys some rest if they need it, but I’ve sort of made a pact with the guys that if they are not banged up and they are not tired and if they want to go for this record or whatever then—so we got to talk.”
With the win over the Spurs, the Warriors (70–9) became the second team to reach 70 wins in a season as they close in on the Bulls’ record. They also secured home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson bluntly told reporters he did not plan to rest, and forward Draymond Green thinks most players will follow suit considering how difficult it was for the team to reach a position to break the record.
“To get this far and kind of just tank it and say, ‘Aw, never mind.’... Let’s face it, we probably will never get to this point again. That’s why it’s only been done one time,” Green said. “I think most guys in the locker room are all-in, and we’ll figure that out this weekend.”
The Warriors next play the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday before traveling to San Antonio to have a rematch with the Spurs on Sunday. They will play their final game of the season on Wednesday against Memphis.
- Erin Flynn