Despite not getting the job done against the Cavaliers in the Finals, NBA fans will never forget the roller coaster ride that was the Warriors chase for 73-wins. It was a fairy tale that seemed to just keep getting better and more unimaginable with every passing game - it was the magic of sport and competition at its finest. Among all of the craziness surrounding the Golden State Warriors as a team, we were also treated to one of the most sensational regular seasons of all-time by Stephen Curry, learned that alpha-dog Draymond Green is the real deal and here to stay, and confirmed indeed that Klay Thompson can (literally) shoot with the lights out (YouTube this now!). It was a moment in sports history that will live on forever and although the Warriors fell victim to LeBron James at the end of the road, this accomplishment should be forever appreciated and never forgotten.
The Warriors last season possessed the highest average margin of victory in the NBA at 10.8 points per game and this increased to 14.4 points per game when playing at home in Oracle Arena. That being said, as great as the Golden State Warriors proved to be last season, this is still professional sports and pulling off an accomplishment such as a 73-win season requires a bit of luck and good fortune along the way. In this article, we take a look back at the historical season that was and focus in on a handful of key games that really helped to create the fabric for this sensational and historical run. The Warriors dominated many, but as mentioned before, 73 wins requires a great deal of luck. Thus, we have looked back and chronologically for each, recalled eight times that the Warriors should have lost a tight game and seven times that they looked untouchable. For the record, "vs" denotes a home game and "@" denotes a road game.
15 Should Have Lost: vs. Brooklyn Nets (11/14/15)
The Brooklyn Nets? How on earth could the Warriors have almost lost to the Brooklyn Nets? Well in case you don't remember, let's take a trip down NBA memory lane - maybe we will even find Greg Oden somewhere! The Warriors to this point of the season were 10-0 and had been absolutely cruising along in every game to date. Brooklyn, on the flip side, had just one victory and were hungry to earn some respect from the NBA's elite.
14 Looked Untouchable: vs. Memphis Grizzlies (11/02/15)
Just four games into the season, Golden State stood at a perfect 4-0, winning these first four games by an average margin of 25 points and capping it off with am 119-69 waxing of the Memphis Grizzlies. Even Zach Randolph could figure out that math - 50 points! This marked the worst loss in the history of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise and the third largest victory in the history of Golden State.
13 Should Have Lost: vs. Toronto Raptors (11/17/15)
The Raptors made their only visit to Oracle Arena in mid-November and should have come away with a victory against the undefeated Warriors. Golden State headed into this game at 11-0 and were just coming off of the aforementioned Brooklyn scare, so this could have been back-to-back losses for the Warriors - something that they did not endure all season long. The final score ended Golden State 115, Toronto 110, and thanks to some chicken scratch free-throws late in the game, the score does not justify the final moments.
12 Looked Untouchable: vs. Los Angeles Lakers (11/24/15)
One's first thought would probably be "but it's the Lakers...who didn't blow out the Lakers?" You're right, but you also must remember that the Lakers did hand the Warriors one of their nine losses last season and, thus, this game more than qualifies. The Warriors would completely undress the inferior Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 111-77 and would go up 30-11 after just the first quarter.
11 Should Have Lost: @ Los Angeles Clippers (11/19/15)
If you have been keeping up with the dates, you may notice that not just two, but now three games in a row should have been losses for the Warriors early on in the season. If this were the case, 73-9 probably would never have entered the conversation and this is why we find this stuff absolutely fascinating. Anyway, on November 19th at the Staples Center, the Warriors should have lost. Lucky for them, they were facing off against the imploding LA Clippers.
10 Looked Untouchable: @ Cleveland Cavaliers (01/18/16)
After a hideous display of basketball on Christmas day that saw the Warriors defeat the Cavaliers in Golden State 89-83, the REAL rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals would take place on this day in Cleveland. It is incredibly ironic to think in retrospect that when the final horn went at the end of this game, the entire basketball community immediately confirmed what they thought to be true - the Cavaliers had no chance at beating the Warriors in the NBA Finals. The Cavs, as we know would get their just desserts come June, but on this night, it was all Golden State
9 Should Have Lost: @Utah Jazz (11/30/15 and 03/30/16)
Okay so we broke the rules a little bit, we're sorry. We figured, however, that we may as well string these two games together seeing as they consisted of the same two teams, in the same building with very similar outcomes. The Jazz would have the Warriors by the basketballs in two separate fourth quarters at home, but could not close the game out in either. The first game in November saw the Jazz up a bucket for virtually the entire final eight minutes, as they would find an answer every time the Warriors would hit a big shot. With the Jazz down a point in the final 30 seconds, Rodney Hood would miss two chances to take the lead, including one with just five second left. The Warriors would go up 106-103 and Gordon Haywood would miss yet another shot to force the tie at the buzzer- Warriors win.
8 Looked Untouchable: @ Chicago Bulls (01/20/16)
The Bulls fell apart quickly this season, but around this time they were still near the top of the Eastern Conference and playing decent basketball. The Warriors would jump out to a quick 34-18 lead after the first quarter of play and never really looked back. They would go up by as many as 33 points, silencing one of the more hostile buildings to play in.
7 Should Have Lost: @ Boston Celtics (12/11/15)
With their perfect record still in tact at 23-0, the Golden State Warriors would head into yet another hostile environment at the TD Garden in Boston for a date with the Celtics. With a win, the Warriors would move past the 2012-13 Miami Heat with their 28th regular season win dating back to the previous season - good for the second longest winning streak of all time behind only the '72 Lakers. Yet again, they shouldn't have won this game, but when you're as great as the Warriors are, good fortune often follows you around.
6 Looked Untouchable: vs. San Antonio Spurs (01/25/16)
After blowing out the Cavaliers a week prior, the NBA shifted its attention to January 25th, where the two teams with a combined 78-10 record would finally face off for the first time of the season. The Spurs entered the game with historically jaw-dropping defensive numbers and many thought that they would provide the solution to containing Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. If any team was going to do it, it was Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. It didn't happen and things got out of hand real fast.
5 Should Have Lost: vs. Denver Nuggets (01/02/16)
The Nuggets would hand the Warriors their fourth loss of the season at home just 11 days after this game, but should have beaten the Warriors the first time around on January 2nd. It took Draymond Green's biggest performance of the season in which he totaled 29 points, 17 rebounds, 14 assists, four steals, and a block to stomp out the pesky Denver Nuggets ,as Steph Curry would only play 14 minutes due to reaggravating his left leg early on in the game.
4 Looked Untouchable: vs. New York Knicks (03/16/16)
After embarrassing the New York Knicks by 21 points at Madison Square Garden in January, the Warriors were not finished with Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks and let them know it upon their arrival to Oracle Arena. This game took a similar form to the blowout in San Antonio, as the Warriors went up 62-46 at halftime and proceeded to dominate in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks 35-18.
3 Should Have Lost: @ Oklahoma City Thunder (02/27/16)
If you don't recall this game immediately after reading the title, I'll give you a few seconds. If you guessed that Draymond Green hit someone below the belt, good guess, but this game in fact gave birth to one of Steph Curry's most signature career moments - the half court game winning shot. The Warriors honestly had no business winning this game, but when you have the greatest shooter of all time playing on your team, winning is never out of the question.
2 Looked Untouchable: vs. Portland Trail Blazers (04/03/16)
Damian Lillard showed Steph Curry back in February that being snubbed of an All-Star spot didn't mean he was inferior to anyone, when he dropped 51 points in a Portland victory over the Warriors. This time around, the Warriors could see their 73rd win at the end of the tunnel as they sat at 68-8 heading in and were hungry for another victory. Coming off of their first regular season loss at home in a year and a half at the hands of the Boston Celtics, many were worried about the Warriors and the state of their quest for 73 wins heading into this game.
1 Should Have Lost: vs. Atlanta Hawks (03/01/16)
At 33-28, the Atlanta Hawks sat near the top of a fairly balanced Eastern Conference and the Warriors knew they were in for a battle. The Warriors would be without superstar Stephen Curry on this night, as well as 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, setting the odds slightly in favor of the soundly fundamental Atlanta Hawks. Without Curry and Iggy in the lineup, the Warriors would need monster nights from Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to pull out the victory and they didn't get it, but they still won.
Although Thompson finished the night with a game high 26 points, his shooting was well off as he shot just 29% from the floor. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green combined for an atrocious 14/42 shooting from the floor and if it were not for Thompson's six three pointers (on 16 attempts) the Warriors would have stood no chance. The game was neck and neck down the stretch and the Hawks even held the lead with a minute left in the fourth quarter and in overtime. However, with no Curry, no Iguodala, and Draymond and Thompson unable to hit anything, the Warriors were still somehow able to pull this game out and we still can't figure out how. Probably because they are the greatest regular season team of all time. Yep, that's why.
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