OAKLAND – The Warriors are the new standard for in-season excellence in the NBA.
With a 125-104 rout of Memphis Grizzlies before a joyful sellout crowd at Oracle Arena Wednesday night, the Warriors concluded the regular season with a 73-9 record, the best in league history.
Stephen Curry did his part, and then some, to ensure the record, scoring 46 points, including 10 3-pointers to become the first NBA player to crack the 400 mark.
Klay Thompson tossed in 16 points, while Harrison Barnes totaled 15, Marreese Speights put in 12 and Draymond Green added 11. Curry and Green sat out the fourth quarter.
The Warriors, Western Conference champions for the second consecutive season, will open the first round of the playoffs against the Houston Rockets. Game 1 is scheduled for Saturday at 12:30pm at Oracle Arena.
|GAME 1||Sat, April 16||Houston at Golden State||12:30pm PDT|
|GAME 2||Mon, April 18||Houston at Golden State||7:30pm PDT|
|GAME 3||Thur, April 21||Golden State at Houston||6:30pm PDT|
|GAME 4||Sun, April 24||Golden State at Houston||12:30pm PDT|
|GAME 5 (If Necessary)||Wed, April 27||Houston at Golden State||TBD|
|GAME 6 (If Necessary)||Fri, April 29||Golden State at Houston||TBD|
|GAME 7 (If Necessary)||Sun, May 1||Houston at Golden State||TBD|
Zach Randolph scored 24 points to lead Memphis (42-40), which ended the season with the No. 7 seed and will face San Antonio in the first round.
This was a virtuoso performance by Curry, who was as aggressive as he was accurate.
Curry’s line: 46 points (15-of-24 shooting, including 10-of-19 from beyond the arc), six assists, four rebounds and two steals. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-20.
Curry ended the season as the league’s leading scorer, the first Warrior to do so since Rick Barry accomplished it in 1966-67.
The Warriors took control early. After a Zach Randolph layup gave Memphis a 14-12 lead with 7:09 left in the opening quarter, the Warriors cranked up the energy and closed the quarter with a 25-9 run for a 37-23 lead.
The Grizzlies never got within single digits after that, as the Warriors expanded the lead by as much as 23 in the second half.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (R hip inflammation) was listed as out.
Grizzlies: G/F Tony Allen (L hamstring soreness) was listed as questionable. C Marc Gasol (R foot fracture), G Mike Conley (L Achilles tendinitis), F Brandan Wright (R MCL sprain) and G Jordan Adams (R knee surgery) were listed as out.
The Warriors return to action Sunday afternoon, when they play host to the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of their first round Western Conference playoff series. Tipoff is scheduled for noon.