The Bee Sports staff tracks the Warriors’ progress toward breaking the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ record 72 wins, using a measuring stick from the past to gauge the present. Here’s where the teams stood 55 games into the season:
Feb. 22, 2016: The Golden State Warriors became the fastest team to 50 wins in NBA history with their 102-92 win over the host Atlanta Hawks on Monday.
The Warriors’ Stephen Curry led all scorers with 36 points. He also had eight assists and six rebounds. Golden State continues its seven-game trip Wednesday at Miami.
Golden State appeared on the way to a blowout victory, up 70-47 in the third quarter, but Atlanta closed the period on a 28-6 run and led briefly in the fourth quarter. Outscored 36-18 in the third, the Warriors bested the Hawks 26-17 in the fourth quarter.
Klay Thompson scored 27 points for the Warriors, including 12 in the fourth quarter on 4-of-8 shooting. He and Curry combined for 10 three-point baskets. Al Horford led the Hawks with 23 points. Dennis Schroder scored 18 points in just 18 minutes.
Player of the game: Thompson played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and scored 12 of his team’s 26 points to help quell the Hawks’ rally and preserve the victory.
Quote: “We have a great record, but we’re not going to blow everybody out every single night.” – Warriors guard Stephen Curry
Warriors’ record: 50-5
Feb. 25, 1996: Orlando’s Shaquille O’Neal scored 33 points to top Michael Jordan’s 23, but O’Neal failed to make a “statement,” as the Magic lost 111-91 in the first meeting between the stars since Jordan was named the league MVP the previous season. An inadvertent statement by O’Neal was free throws are difficult for him. He made just seven of 17 attempts.
O’Neal even lost the drawstring to his shorts late in the game and had to go to the bench for repairs.
The Bulls improved to 25-0 at home with the victory.
Player of the game: Toni Kukoc upstages Chicago’s stars by coming off the bench and scoring a season-high 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 6 of 8 from three-point range.
Quote: “Either my string broke by itself or someone held my shorts while I was going in the air. You tell me.” – O’Neal
Bulls’ record: 49-6
The Associated Press