Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Warriors can now say ‘I’m on the best team ever’

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies in style on Wednesday night for their 73rd win on the final night of the regular season – a new NBA record.

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, right, and Draymond Green, shown after winning their 71st game of the season against the San Antonio last weekend. Darren Abate / AP / April 10, 2016
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Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors took their last shot at Michael Jordan and history and they swished it – for 73.

Down to their final chance at the record, the Warriors became the NBA's first 73-win team Wednesday night by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104, breaking what many considered an unmatchable mark set 20 years ago by Jordan's Chicago Bulls – a team Golden State coach Steve Kerr played for.

“I want to congratulate the Warriors on their amazing season,” Jordan said in a statement. “The game of basketball is always evolving and records are made to be broken. The Warriors have been a lot of fun to watch and I look forward to seeing what they do in the play-offs.”

Curry achieved yet one more shooting milestone, becoming the first player to make 400 three-pointers in a season by knocking down 10 from long range on the way to 46 points and 402 total threes. Golden State saved one last record for the closing day of the regular season, and did it for a roaring, sellout home crowd at Oracle Arena. Yet these Warriors want nothing more than to build off their remarkable run so far and ride it to another title.

Read more: NBA MVP – Stephen Curry will win it, but who is No 2? (Maybe Draymond Green?)

Also see: Stephen Curry and Golden State Warriors match Michael Jordan's record against Spurs – in pictures

Draymond Green had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as defending champions Golden State (73-9) topped the Jordan-led 1995/96 Chicago Bulls who went 72-10.

“It’s a great way to finish off what was an amazing regular season,” Kerr said. “I just told our guys I never in a million years would have guessed that that record would ever be broken. I thought it was like DiMaggio’s hit streak, really. I was wrong, but I will say the same thing now that I said 20 years ago, ‘I don’t think this one will ever be broken.’ Somebody’s got to go 74-8. I don’t see it, and I hope our fans aren’t expecting that next year.”

When the final buzzer sounded, Green bounded onto the floor and grabbed the game ball as confetti streamed down and “73 WINS” appeared on the scoreboard.

“We were going to play 82 games, anyway,” Green said. “We might as well try to win. It means that I’m on the best team ever. Not many people can say that – 15 guys can say that.”

President Barack Obama sent a tweet that said: “Congrats to the @warriors, a great group of guys on and off the court. If somebody had to break the Bulls’ record, I’m glad it’s them.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a statement, saying: “Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors on their 73rd win and the best regular-season record in NBA history. The team held itself to a high standard throughout the season, playing with purpose every night and captivating fans around the world with its free-flowing style, spectacular shooting and flair for the dramatic. Kudos to the entire Warriors organiaation.”

The Warriors went for it, all right. They absolutely wanted this record, even when they could have been resting up for the next challenge: to repeat. And Curry? No doubt about it. He came out and did what he has all along during this sensational season: Let it fly from anywhere on the floor.

Curry had seven three-pointers by half-time, then hit No 400 just 43 seconds into the third.

Already the first player to make 300 three-pointers in a season, he knocked down six in the first quarter and three straight during one jaw-dropping stretch that included a 31-footer well behind the top of the arc. And Curry immediately began trending on Twitter.

Curry shattered his own single-season record of 286 from a year ago. When he hit his 400th, the reigning MVP raised his arms and patted his chest in celebration.

He made 10-of-19 three-pointers and shot 15-for-24 overall to go with six assists as fans chanted “M-V-P! M-V-P!” all evening. Klay Thompson added 16 points with four threes of his own before Curry rested the fourth quarter and Thompson most of it.

For all of those who doubted the Warriors’ first championship in 40 years last June because they didn’t have to beat the San Antonio Spurs, this season might have changed their tune.

Golden State not only won nearly every night with a cool swagger and new focus on the offensive end but with a determination to be far better than during that special season.

From Day 1, Kerr challenged the Warriors to make big strides.

Already the Western Conference’s No 1 seed heading into this weekend’s start to the play-offs, Golden State had to get past the very Memphis team the Warriors squeaked by 100-99 four days earlier on the Grizzlies’ home floor to keep themselves in position to make history.

The Warriors whipped the Grizzlies 119-69 at home back on November 2, with the 50-point win the third-largest margin of victory in franchise history.

No excessive celebrations were planned for this focused bunch.

“Absolutely not. You’ve got to save that ‘til June,” Thompson said. “This record doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t take care of business in the post-season.”

Kerr missed his team’s 24-0 start and the first 43 games overall – assistant coach Luke Walton led the Warriors to a 39-4 record in Kerr’s absence – while dealing with complications following two back surgeries.

The Warriors had their NBA-record 54-game home winning streak in the regular season snapped in an April 1 loss to the Boston Celtics at Oracle. Golden State finished 39-2 at home for the second straight year.

Zach Randolph scored 24 points to lead Memphis, who lost their fourth in a row to end the season.

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