Instant Replay: Warriors escape in OT with franchise-record 68th win


Instant Replay: Warriors escape in OT with franchise-record 68th win


The Warriors once again had a late-season opportunity to move two games ahead of the pace set by the record-setting 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, and this time they summoned the resolve to take advantage.

Outscoring the Jazz 14-7 overtime, the Warriors pulled out a 103-96 victory Wednesday night to push their record to 68-7 through 75 games. Those Bulls, who finished 72-10, were 66-9 at the same juncture.

The win established a new franchise-record for wins in a single season.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 31 points, including 6 in OT, as the Warriors disappointed the sellout crowd at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Klay Thompson tossed in 18 points, Draymond Green totaled 13 and Harrison Barnes added 15.

[RELATED: Draymond first in NBA history to achieve statistical milestone]

The Warriors arrived in Salt Lake City around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning and showed the effects of playing the second night of a back-to-back set. They started well enough, shooting 50 percent in the first quarter and taking a five-point lead, but tailed off appreciably before recovering late in regulation and taking over in OT.

The Warriors committed 18 turnovers, to 15 for Utah, and were outrebounded 54-46. The Jazz (37-38) had significant advantages in points in the paint, 40-34, and second-chance points, 22-11.

Utah, a potential first-round opponent, was held to 40.2 shooting from the field.

In their most recent previous chance to go two games ahead of the pace of the ’95-’96 Bulls, the Warriors lost to the Lakers on March 6 in Los Angeles.

Though no member of the Warriors played particularly well for most of the game, Curry and Green were effective at critical points of a tight game.

Curry’s line: 31 pints (11-of-23 shooting, 5-of-10 from deep), seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. He played 42 minutes and finished plus-6 for the game.

Green’s line: 13 points (5-of-10, 1-of-3), eight rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots. He played 43 minutes and finished plus-5.

Trailing 82-74 with 6:18 to play, the Warriors closed the game on a 15-7 run to push it into OT.

Thompson drilled a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining to pull the Warriors into an 89-89 tie and force the extra period.

Warriors: F Brandon Rush (R knee bruise) was listed as questionable but upgraded to available prior to tipoff. C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery), F Andre Iguodala (L ankle sprain) and F Kevon Looney (R hip soreness) were listed as out.

Jazz: G Alec Burks (R fibula fracture) and G Dante Exum (L ACL surgery) were listed as out.

The Warriors immediately after the game returned to Oakland, where on Friday they play host to the Boston Celtics at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:40 p.m.

Andrew Wiggins-Steph Curry duo's potential shown in Warriors NBA 2K sim

Andrew Wiggins-Steph Curry duo's potential shown in Warriors NBA 2K sim

Editor’s note: With the NBA season halted over coronavirus concerns, Warriors fans have unanswered questions about the team and how it’s building toward the future. To provide answers, NBC Sports Bay Area will simulate some previously scheduled Warriors games through NBA 2K, mixing video-game results with real-life insights for our coverage team.

Even amid the NBA season suspension due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Andrew Wiggins enters the spring as the Warriors' biggest question mark.

A former No. 1 overall draft pick, Wiggins' potential drops jaws, while his inconsistency is head-scratching. Upon arrival, the Warriors believed his ability would bode well alongside Steph Curry and the team's culture.

In a simulation of the March 28 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder using NBA 2K20, Wiggins showed promise towards that goal in a 117-110 loss.

In the digital confines, Wiggins finished with 35 points, getting most of his buckets within the flow of the Warriors' motion offense.

"I think he really fits well," Draymond Green said of Wiggins last month. "As seamless as it could possibly be, I think he can fit right in. He can score the basketball, he can run the wings, he's a pretty good defender. So I think he'll definitely fit in with this core for a long time."

Similar performances weren't as consistent during Wiggins' first four seasons in Minnesota. Wiggins didn't live up to the expectations that come with being a franchise player. His offensive inconsistency quickly drew the ire of NBA observers. Worse, Wiggins became one of the worst defenders in the league, even after he signed a five-year, $145 million contract.

Nonetheless, the Warriors saw potential in the 25-year old, trading former All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell, along with Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman, in part to pair Wiggins with Curry. In the 2K simulation, the pairing worked, as the tandem combined for 62 points on the night.

The performance was consistent with Wiggins' lone real-world game alongside the former MVP. Against the Raptors back on March 5, the duo combined for 44 points in Curry's return from a broken left hand.

Curry's first highlight against the Raptors came with the help of his Canadian teammate, when he took a dribble in the lane, drew a double-team and fired a behind the back pass to Wiggins in the lane, leading to an easy layup, surprising Wiggins in the process.

"I didn't even know it was coming, really," Wiggins admitted after the loss to the Raptors. "I was kind of watching like it may come, but then when he went behind the back I was just trying to catch it. It was a hell of a pass."

"I'm very excited," Wiggins added. "He's an MVP player, one of the greats. He helped transition the game with his 3s and how fast he plays. So, I'm excited."

[RELATED: How Steph perform in Warriors-Hawks sim]

Wiggins' virtual performance Saturday coincided with his strong play during his short stint in the Bay Area. In his last five games, he averaged 20 points on 46 percent shooting from the field. If Wiggins continues to build on his current play, the Warriors will see the potential they've wanted all along, making for an intriguing process Wiggins says he's ready for.

"I feel like I've adjusted well," Wiggins told NBC Sports Bay Area earlier in March. "I've never played with anyone as good as him. By far, he's the best player that I've played with. Just getting a chance to learn from him and feeding off him and just learning."

Watch every Steph Curry 3-pointer with Warriors from 30 feet and beyond

Watch every Steph Curry 3-pointer with Warriors from 30 feet and beyond

Today is the 30th day in March.

Warriors superstar Steph Curry wears No. 30.

Obviously, that means you should watch every single 3-pointer the two-time NBA MVP has made in his career from 30 feet and beyond.

Thank you to our friends at the Warriors for making this possible:

You watched all 87, right? What's your favorite?

Is it the famous 37-footer against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 27, 2016? What about the 62-footer he swished at the end of the third quarter in Game 6 of the 2015 Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies?

[RELATED: What separates Steph Curry as favorite among all Bay Area MVP athletes]

There just are so many incredible ones to choose from.

Now go spend 10 more minutes watching all 87 again ...

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