NBA: Warriors want season win mark, but title is top goal
MONTREAL, Canada—Stephen Curry is playing better than he did last season, when he was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, and he has the Golden State Warriors winning at a historic rate.
Curry is leading the league with 29.8 points a game, six more points a game than he averaged last season, and his 245 3-pointers are on pace to shatter the one-season NBA record of 286 he set last season.
On top of that, the defending champion Warriors are on pace to surpass the best season in NBA history, the 72-10 campaign of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in the 1995-96 season when they went on to win the title.
For all their regular-season success, including the best record in history at the NBA All-Star Game break at 48-4, the Warriors are trying to keep the focus on claiming another championship ring rather than chasing the regular-season record for wins.
As Golden State guard Klay Thompson put it: “73 wins doesn’t mean a thing without the ring.”
But having gotten off to such a great start, including an NBA record 24 wins in a row to open the campaign, Curry does not mind if the Warriors make some history on the way to repeating as champions.
“It matters,” Curry said. “But more importantly it’s all a part of winning, which we’re doing as a team. We’re on pace for that Bulls record. We’ll see what happens. That’s a special kind of moment. Hopefully in the playoffs we’re playing our best basketball.”
The Warriors must finish 25-5 to beat the Bulls mark from 20 years ago.
“That’s off the pace we’ve already set,” Curry said. “We still have a lot of tough games to get through.
“We’re still talking about the ’95-96 Bulls and what they accomplished. (We want it) pretty bad because we have come this close. How many times do you have a chance?”
Composure and confidence
The Warriors, 24-0 at home so far this season, have felt opponents raise their games against them. The pursuit of history and their defence of the crown have added to the intensity of their regular season.
“We’ve had a lot of playoff atmospheres making it feel like April, May and June,” Curry said. “We’ve had a lot of different guys contribute every night. We have so many pieces to throw out there who can impact the game. That’s where we want to be in the post-season.
“Those are the type of atmospheres we’re going to have to get through to win another championship. You need those tests once in a while to prepare you for the big games.”
Curry likes the composure, confidence and maturity he sees in his team and he thinks he’s playing better than last season.
“I worked in the summer to be more efficient and refined as a player,” he said. “I decided to take it up another notch, create more space, change speeds, change directions. I feel like it’s working.”
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