The Golden State Warriors this season won 67 games, the third straight season with 60 or more wins. They became the sixth team to win 60 or more games in three consecutive seasons and the first since the Chicago Bulls did it in 1996, 1997 and 1998. For the record the teams that have won 60 in three consecutive years were:
Milwaukee Bucks: 1971, 1972, 1973 Boston Celtics: 1980, 1981, 1982 Boston Celtics: 1984, 1985, 1986 Los Angeles Lakers: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 Chicago Bulls: 1996, 1997, 1998 Golden State: 2015, 2016, 2017
The Warriors were not the only team to win 60 or more games in the 2016-17 season; the San Antonio Spurs for the second straight year reached the 60-win mark with their 61 wins this season. The Warriors and Spurs also each won 60+ games in the 2015-16 season. With another 60-win season next year, the Spurs could join the above list, while another 60-win season next year for Golden State would make them only the second team in NBA history to win 60 or more games in four consecutive seasons.
Two teams winning 60 or more games in an NBA season has now been accomplished 22 times in league history. Here’s a few interesting stats regarding multiple teams winning 60 or more in a season:
- In 14 of those 22 seasons, the team that won the championship that year was a team that won 60 or more games.
- There have been three NBA Finals where both teams won 60 or more games in the regular season: 1985 (Lakers and Celtics), 1996 (Bulls and Sonics) and 1997 (Bulls and Jazz).
- In nine of those 22 season, a team that won 60 games in the regular season lost in the NBA Finals.
- In three of those 22 seasons, none of the multiple teams that won 60 or more games made it to the NBA Finals… 1995, 207 and 2011.
To say that the three-point shot has become an important part of the NBA would be a severe understatement. The Houston Rockets recently took it to the next level in their November 25 win over Sacramento.
In that game, the Rockets launched (pun intended) 50 three-point shots, a new NBA record for most three-point shot attempts in a game. In fact, the Rockets were 21-for-50 from beyond the three-point line and were 19-for-35 from inside the three-point line in the contest.
It was the second time in less than two weeks that the Rockets as a team had attempted 45 or more threes in a game (they also did it on November 12, attempting 47 threes) in a loss to San Antonio.
Since the three-pointer became a staple in the NBA, there have now been 19 times when a team attempted 45 or more threes in a game. It’s interesting to note that two teams have each done it five times and account for half of the 19 games; the Rockets and Golden State Warriors have each had five games where they attempted 45 or more threes in a game.
The first such game was in the 1995-96 season when the Dallas Mavericks attempted 49 threes in a game. The Mavs are the only other team that has attempted 45 or more threes in a game multiple times (they have done it twice). Seven teams have done it once in their history: Boston, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Utah. The Mavs have also found themselves on the other end of this stat… teams have attempted 45 or more threes against them three times, tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for most.
Here’s a look at a few more stats on teams that have attempted 45 or more threes in an NBA game:
- Teams that attempted 45 or more threes in a game have won only six and lost 13.
- The 45 or more three-point attempts have happened in four overtime games of the 19.
- Nine of the 19 were by home teams, 10 by the road team.
- Best three-point percentage of the 19 teams that attempted 45-plus was .467 by the Warriors on March 25, 2016; worst three-point percentage of the 19 teams was .2000 by the Rockets on February 11, 2015.
One final note: Since the Rockets and Warriors are two of the teams that seem to be leading this three-point frenzy, you would think their games would feature a boatload of threes. Last season in three games the two teams combined for 49, 53 and 67 threes. That last contest on February 9, 2016, saw Golden State attempt 34 threes and the Rockets try 33. The two teams face off for the first time this season this coming Thursday, December 1. Be sure to check the box scores the next morning.
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This past Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors won a shootout with the Milwaukee Bucks, 124-121, in a non-overtime game.
The Warriors are no strangers to playing in games where a lot of points are scored. They are, and have been, the league’s highest scoring team. But surprisingly, the Warriors don’t always end up on the winning side of these shootout games (more on that a little later).
To put some numbers to this, let’s look at NBA games in the past six-plus seasons and see which teams have played in the most games when both teams score over 120 points (in non-overtime contests).
Since the 2009-10 NBA season (through November 19 of this season), there has been 61 games where both teams scored 120 or more points in a game that did not go into overtime. Of those 61 games, the Warriors played in 22 (just over 36%). Second on that list are the Denver Nuggets who played in 12 of those games. Here’s a look at how many games teams played in since the 2009-10 season where both teams scored 120 or more points in a non-OT game.
22: Golden State
7: Oklahoma City
5: Dallas. L.A. Lakers, New Orleans, N.Y. Knicks
4: Cleveland, Milwaukee
3: Boston, L.A. Clippers, Toronto
2: Atlanta, , Indiana, Portland, Sacramento, Washington
1: Chicago, Memphis, Orlando, San Antonio, Utah
0: Brooklyn, Charlotte, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia
In these 61 games:
- The home team was 38-23.
- Fifty-one of the 61 winning teams shot over 50% from the field in the game; 37 of the 61 teams that lost shot over 50% from the field.
- Fifty-one of the 61 winning teams shot over 40% from the three-point line in the game; 38 of the 61 teams that lost shot over 40% from the three-point line.
- Forty-five of the 61 winning teams shot over 75% from the free throw line in the game; 40 of the 61 teams that lost shot over 75% from the free throw line.
- Of the 61 games, 19 were decided by three points or less; 35 were decided by four to nine points; seven were decided by 10 points or more.
This season there has been six games where both teams scored 120 or more points in a non-OT game. As expected, the Warriors have played in the most games with this scenario with three followed by Cleveland and Phoenix with two each.
As mentioned above, the Warriors don’t always win these games when both teams score over 120. In fact, of the 22 games the Warriors have played in since that 2009-10 season where they and their opponents scored 120 or more points in a non-OT contest, they have a 12-10 record in those games. Denver, Houston, Minnesota and Phoenix have each lost five games since that season when they scored 120 or more points in a non-OT game.
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For the second consecutive year, two NBA teams reached the 50-game mark in an NBA season with 40 or more wins. This year the Golden State Warriors (46 wins) and the San Antonio Spurs (42) reached that mark. Last year it was the Warriors (41) and the Atlanta Hawks (41). Two teams reaching 40 victories in their first 50 games in the same season has happened four other times in NBA history: 2006, 2005, 1985 and 1981.
The Spurs and Warriors this year became the 28th and 29th teams in NBA history to reach 40 wins in their first 50 games. Of the previous 27 teams, 14 won the NBA title that year. The Warriors, with their 46 wins in 50 games this season, tied the NBA mark of the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers who also won 46 of their first 50 games.
Here’s a breakdown of the 27 teams prior to this season that had 40 victories in their first 50 games. (The year listed is the year the playoffs started that season).
46 wins: 1967 Philadelphia (won title)
45 wins: 1996 Chicago (won title)
44 wins: 1997 Chicago (won title)
43 wins: 1972 L.A. Lakers (won title); 1983 Philadelphia (won title)
42 wins: 1965 Boston (won title); 1978 Portland (lost in Western Conf. semis); 2011 San Antonio (lost in Western Conf. first round)
41 wins: 1971 Milwaukee (won title); 1973 Boston (los in Eastern Conf. finals); 1981 Boston (won title); 1981 Philadelphia (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 1985 Boston (lost in NBA Finals); 1986 Boston (won title); 1988 L.A. Lakers (won title); 1991 Portland (lost in Western Conf. finals); 1992 Chicago (won title); 2006 Detroit (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2007 Dallas (lost in Western Conf. first round); 2008 Boston (won title); 2009 Boston (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2009 L.A. Lakers (won title); 2015 Atlanta (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2015 Golden State (won title).
40 wins: 1985 Philadelphia (lost in Eastern Conf. finals); 2006 San Antonio (lost in Western Conf. semis); 2012 Chicago (lost in Eastern Conf. first round).
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When Golden State’s Andre Iguodala was selected as the NBA Finals MVP on Tuesday night, it prevented Warriors star and teammate Steph Curry from becoming the ninth NBA player to win a unique version of the league’s Grand Slam.
Curry led the Warriors to the league’s best regular-season record and a title while being named the 2014-15 season MVP. Iguodala, however, was named the Finals MVP. Eight players previously won the league MVP, Finals MVP, and saw his team win the most games in the regular season and win the title.
Here’s a look at those players who won the league MVP and Finals MVP in the same year their team won the most regular-season games and the NBA title.
1970: Willis Reed, New York Knicks
1971: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Milwaukee Bucks
1983: Moses Malone, Philadelphia 76ers
1984, 1986: Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
1987: Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1992, 1996: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
2000: Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
2013: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Note: Michael Jordan almost accomplished this feat a third time, but his Bulls tied for the most regular-season wins in 1998 with the Utah Jazz; Tim Duncan in 2003 was league MVP, Finals MVP and saw his Spurs win the NBA title, but the Spurs were tied for most regular-season wins that year with Dallas.
In the 60 seasons the NBA has awarded an MVP Award for the regular season (since 1955-56), the league MVP’s team has played in the NBA Finals that year 31 times. Of those 31 times, the league MVP’s team has won the title 23 times (Curry and the Warriors were the 23rd time).
The regular-season MVP has also been the Finals MVP 15 times: Willis Reed (1970), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1971), Moses Malone (1983), Larry Bird (1984), Larry Bird (1986), Magic Johnson (1987), Michael Jordan (1991), Michael Jordan (1992), Hakeem Olajuwon (1994), Michael Jordan (1996), Michael Jordan (1998), Shaquille O’Neal (2000), Tim Duncan (2003), LeBron James (2012), LeBron James (2013).
One final note: This year was only the second time in NBA history that a regular-season MVP saw his team win the NBA title but he did not win the NBA Finals MVP. The other time was in 1980 when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the league MVP and the Lakers won the championship that season, but teammate Magic Johnson was the Finals MVP.
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