1) With a chance at basketball immortality, Stephen Curry summoned a Herculean effort against San Antonio on Sunday. Against a defensive scheme designed solely to slow his offensive exploits, the MVP scored 37 points on a barrage of quick-trigger 3-pointers, floaters and layups to lead his team to victory no. 72 against the dreaded Spurs. With the record-tying win, Golden State secured its place alongside Michael Jordan and the 1996 Chicago Bulls as the best regular season team of all time. Curry and Co. can now focus their attention on a battered Memphis team and a chance earn a seat alone atop the basketball world.
3) For a guy going after a 50/40/90 season, you’d think Curry would be wary of taking half-court heaves (his fieldgoal percentage is dangling perilously close to falling under 50%), but dude keeps taking them in large part because dude keeps making them.
4) Harrison Barnes played a fantastic two-way game. He shot only 3-of-10, but had seven desperately needed fourth quarter points with the bench unit that helped extend the lead. HB was also accountable on defense, helping to force Kawhi Leonard into a forgettable 7-of-22 shooting night. Barnes was a game-high +16.
5) Coaches too often give the quick hook to players with two fouls, thereby ensuring the person will play limited minutes. Not Steve Kerr, he kept Steph on the court despite two early infractions. The Dubs weren’t going to win with Steph on the bench, so why not gamble? (Steph finished with four fouls total.)
6) I missed Andre Iguodala so much when he was out. It’s reassuring when a sub can come in, play handsy defense on Kawhi (1 steal, 1 block), rebound the ball (7), facilitate the offense (3 assists) and hit an open corner three.
7) Should the Dubs make it to the Western Conference Finals, they’ll have to face either the Spurs or the Thunder. I can’t believe I’m typing this — and I’m scared the Basketball Gods will strike me from the heavens — but I’d rather the Warriors play San Antonio. The Spurs don’t score consistently against the Dubs (although a healthy Boris Diaw would help), and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s otherworldly talents add too much variance to the game. Let’s go, Spurs!
8) Boban versus Mo is always good theater. Mo tried to follow up a I’m-not-sure-he-even-jumped Boban dunk with a 3-pointer, but unfortunately for Mo — and fans of dichotomous basketball strategies — Mo’s shot clanked front rim.
9) Stats and tidbits: the Warriors will finish the season without losing two consecutive games. They have the best road record ever at 34-7. No team beat them twice. Four of the losses came to sub-.500 teams (meaning the Dubs almost always win when they’re locked in). Curry needs eight more 3-pointers for 400 on the season. If he takes his usual 20 shots in the final contest, Steph will have to make at least nine of them to enter the rarefied 50/40/90 club.
10) A nice thing: Fans no longer have to hear about how the Warriors haven’t won a regular season game in San Antonio in over 10,000 years (duration approximate). That was the last vestige of the sad-sacked Chris Cohan era to fall.