Basketball

Chasing the Bulls: Loss leaves Warriors tied with Chicago’s pace

The Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (11) has his shot blocked by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Oakland.
The Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (11) has his shot blocked by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns (32) during an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2016, in Oakland. The Associated Press

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 78 games into the season:

Warriors

April 5: The Golden State Warriors hit an unexpected obstacle on their quest for a record 73 wins, blowing a 17-point lead and losing 124-117 in overtime to the last-place Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Minnesota prevented Golden State (69-9) from becoming the second team to win 70 games in a season. The Warriors now must win their final four games to break the single-season wins record of 72 set by Chicago in 1995-96.

Stephen Curry had a rare off-shooting night as Golden State took its third loss against a team currently in last place in its division, following earlier defeats at Milwaukee in December and last month at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Players of the game: Shabazz Muhammad scored a career-high 35 points and Andrew Wiggins had 32 for Minnesota.

Quote: “We can’t even suit up all the guys who’ve been helping us win games night after night, and that’s frustrating,” – Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game. Entering Tuesday, the Warriors had 169 player games missed because of injury, illness or rest, nearly 100 more than a season ago.

Warriors’ record: 69-9.

Bulls

April 14, 1996: Michael Jordan had 32 points and 12 rebounds as the Bulls matched the 69 games won in 1971-72 by the Los Angeles Lakers of Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West with their 98-72 win over the host Cleveland Cavaliers.

Chicago has four games left and goes for its 70th win in two days on the road against Milwaukee.

“We felt we had a chance to win a championship and weren’t thinking in terms of 69 or 70 wins, “ Jordan said. “But when you go this far, you have a chance to make a mark on history. Still, we don’t want to lose our focus, and that’s to win a championship.”

Player of the game: Jordan made 11 of 18 shots (61.1 percent) from the field, including 4 of 7 from three-point range. He also had three assists.

Quote: “For anyone 20 years old or so, they can look at this team and say it’s the best basketball team they’ve seen.” – Scottie Pippen.

Bulls’ record: 69-9

Compiled by Jeff Caraska

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