Golden State Warriors: Looking Back at Historic Win Streak Part Two


With the Golden State Warriors win streak coming to an end, we recap the wins that led to the best start in NBA history in this two part series.

This is a continuation of part 1 reflecting back on the 2015-2016 Golden State Warriors NBA record start to the season. After winning 24 straight games to start the season, the Warriors shattered the previous record of 15 straight wins to start a season held by the 1948-1949 Washington Capitols and 1993-1994 Houston Rockets.

11/19/15: Los Angeles Clippers

Picking up where we left off, the Warriors were coming off a close game two nights prior against the Toronto Raptors. A lot of people had this game with the Clippers circled for a number of reasons.

First of all, a Warriors-Clippers match up is always going to be must watch basketball. Secondly, the Clippers fell to the Warriors a little over two weeks prior to this game and were looking for another shot at the champs — this time though, the game was at the Staples Center. All signs pointed to the Clippers handing the Warriors their first loss of the season.

Nov 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) guards Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) in the second half of the game at Staples Center. The Warriors won 124-117. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Further bolstering that opinion, Chris Paul and the Clippers came out scorching, seemingly hitting every shot they took. Paul had 18 points in the first quarter alone, and the Clippers jumped out to a 23 point lead in the first half. It took some heroics in the fourth quarter and 40 points overall from Stephen Curry to snatch this victory from the jaws of defeat.

In the end, the Clippers melted down in 2015 Western Conference Semifinal-like fashion and handed the Warriors their 13th win of the season.

11/20/15: Chicago Bulls

On Friday November 20th, the Warriors welcomed the Bulls to Oracle for the first and only time this season. The Bulls, who came in with an 8-4 mark, would be without Derrick Rose for this one who was nursing an injury.

That didn’t stop the Bulls from giving the Dubs a tough game. Jimmy Butler came up huge for the Bulls putting in 28 points, grabbing nine boards, and dishing seven assists. Harrison Barnes pitched in 20 points and nine rebounds as the score bounced back and forth.

The Warriors started slow, allowing the Bulls to build a little bit of a lead. However, in the blink of an eye the Warriors shot themselves right back into the game. The Warriors pulled away late, eventually earning a 106-94 victory — their 14th on the season. Their next game would give them a chance to tie the mark for the best start in NBA history — 15-0.

11/22/15: Denver Nuggets

The Warriors would have to leave the friendly confines of Oracle if they wanted to etch their name in the history books. Only the Denver Nuggets stood in their way of tying the record, and they, like so many other teams, gave the Warriors their best effort.

All five Nuggets starters scored in double figures and Will Barton scored 19 off the bench for Denver. The Warriors matched that scoring, not from one player — Thompson led all Warriors scorers with 21 points — but as a committee, as 11 of the 12 Warriors in uniform played and scored at least 4 points.

The Warriors also shared the rock, dishing out 35 assists. Their defense was on a championship level as well, but 21 turnovers kept the game closer than many would have liked. The Warriors earned their 15th straight victory by a score of 118-105, and would look to break the all-time record at home in front of the best fans in the NBA.

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11/24/15: Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers were the only road block standing in the way of the Warriors putting themselves in the NBA history books — alone. The Warriors are not a team who considers an opponent an easy victory, but they couldn’t be blamed for figuring they’d get that win over the Lakers.

The Warriors, sporting their new Hardwood Classic throwback uniforms once again, cruised to yet another victory in relatively easy fashion. Only one Lakers starter, scored in double figures — Julius Randle — and had he scored one less point, no Lakers would have done so. Kobe Bryant went a staggering one-for-14 (7 percent) from the field, and as a team, the Lakers shot sub-40 percent.

The Warriors now stood alone in NBA history as the only team to start a season 16-0 and by the end of it, the new record would be much greater.

11/27/15: Phoenix Suns

After grabbing the record, many people believed the Warriors might let up and suffer their first loss in the near future. The Warriors traveled to Phoenix to take on the Suns for the first time this season. The Suns, who have been a fringe playoff team for the past few seasons, came in to the game sporting a 7-8 record and were ready to battle.

However, once again Curry led his troops, this time coming away with 41 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. Not all of the soldiers would come out unharmed as in the third quarter, Harrison Barnes came down awkwardly on his ankle, quickly grabbing it and writhing on the floor.

He had to be carried off by teammates, unable to put any weight on it. X-rays came back negative, but no timeline was set for his return (As of 12/24/15, Barnes has yet to see any game action). On the bright side, Draymond Green notched his second triple double of the season — 14,10, and 10 — but Thompson continued his slow start to the season, failing to score 20 or more for the 14th time in 17 games.

As you could have guessed though, the Warriors added another W to their win column, this time to the tune of a 135-116 victory, their highest scoring output of the season.

11/28/15: Sacramento Kings

The Warriors were set to welcome in the Kings for one final game at Oracle before heading out on a daunting seven-game road trip — their longest of the season. Before they could look ahead though, it was Rajon Rondo and company looking to hand them their first loss.

Without Harrison Barnes, the Warriors would start Brandon Rush, keeping Andre Iguodala as their second unit leader. In Rush’s first start since 2012, he showed everyone that last year’s clunker of a season was just a fluke. In 19 minutes of action, Rush lit up Oracle, pouring in 16 points on five-of-eight shooting, including four-of-five from deep. Curry, unusually took only seven shots, tallying 19 points. Green grabbed his second straight triple double — his third on the season with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 helpers. The Warriors won the game 120-101 to improve to 18-0.

11/30/15: Utah Jazz

The Warriors began a two-week, seven game road trip starting in Utah. The Jazz played the Warriors well, and ran with them for the entire game. Curry, who seemed to be human for most of the game, waited for the fourth quarter to do what he usually does — question everyone’s belief of what a human is capable of doing with a basketball in their hands.

Curry scored 10 of his 26 in the last half of the fourth quarter, including some shots that the English language has no words for. Even with the Curry magic, the Jazz had a chance to win the game on the final possession, but a Rodney Hood missed three with five seconds left all but assured another Warriors victory. Two Curry free throws sealed the deal and the Dubs won the game 106-103 on the shoulders of the MVP.

Ian Clark was vital in his six minutes of play as he had 12 points off the bench against his former team. With the streak at 19-0, and the overall streak at 23-0 — counting the four wins to end last regular season — the nation shifted their eyes to a new record; the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers’ 33 straight victories.

12/2/15: Charlotte Hornets

Dec 2, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) walks out to the court before the game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, the game in Charlotte is special for one Warriors player. It is home for Stephen Curry, where his Father Dell played professional basketball for 10 years.

The yearly trip to see Michael Jordan‘s team is one of a kind. This year, so many comparisons have been made between Curry and Jordan, so it is no surprise that they call the same city their hometown.

On a night when the Hornets were honoring Dell, he told his son one thing before the game: “Don’t ruin my night.” Fortunately for the Warriors, he did just that.

Curry scored 40 points on 14-for-18 shooting in his homecoming game. To top it off, the Warriors won the game 116-99, extending their NBA record to 20-0, a feat that was never before thought possible, not even for Jordan.

12/5/15: Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were looking forward to getting another shot at the Warriors since they felt they should have won their first meeting in Oracle a little over two-weeks prior.

This time, the Air Canada Centre would be the site of the Raptors’ possible revenge. The Warriors, however, had other plans. Curry turned in his second straight 40-point night, finishing with 44 on 14-for-24 shooting, including nine three pointers.

Ironically, the Raptors were another team Dell Curry played for — which Steph remembers very well. The game was not decided until the final buzzer, as just three points separated the Warriors from the Raptors at the end. The win not only moved the Warriors to 21-0, but it established their record as the best start to a season for any professional sports team.

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12/6/15: Brooklyn Nets

The Nets, who came in at 5-14, were a team that should have beat the Warriors at Oracle earlier in the season. Everyone thought that the scare the Nets gave the Dubs would have just about ensured a Warriors victory, but once again the Nets were able to hang around.

This time around though, it wasn’t nearly as close. The Warriors grabbed their 22nd victory on the season behind their MVP’s 28 points. The team shot an impressive 51 percent en route to a 114-98 victory.

12/8/15: Indiana Pacers

The Warriors continued their road trip by heading down to Indiana to take on Paul George and the Pacers. George, who is a realistic MVP candidate, came in to the game averaging 33.6 points a game over the last six games.

Thompson had his best game of the season, putting up 39 points on 13-for-21 shooting. Looking back, this is perhaps when Thompson started to get back in to his All-Star form after an unusually slow start. It looked as if he was going to break the record for most threes in a game, as he looked to be in 37-point-quarter-mode.

Thompson finished the game with 10 deep balls. Curry added 29 points and dished out 10 assists in this 131-123 victory. The game was all but wrapped up in the third quarter as the Warriors held a 32 point lead. The starters rested, but the second unit couldn’t keep the Pacers at bay. The starters had to come back in to hold on to this game, but paid a price as Thompson twisted his ankle. After the game, Thompson said he was sore but should be back in a few days. Nevertheless, the Warriors improved to 23-0.

12/11/15: Boston Celtics

Dec 12, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Fans watches warmups before game between the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors traveled to Boston to meet up with former teammate David Lee and the Celtics. But they would have to do so without Thompson who was trying to quickly heal from that ankle injury.

The road trip was winding down, and the light at the end of the tunnel was in sight. Talks of breaking the longest winning streak in history were heating up as the Warriors overall streak now stood at 27 — second longest ever — and was just six games away from tying the Lakers.

This win was anything but easy as it took two overtimes to grab this one, in perhaps the hardest fought game of the year. The Celtics were left with the final shot at both the end of regulation and the end of the first overtime, but came up empty both times.

Curry, who had his worst shooting night of the year ended with 38 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, but shot only nine-for-27. The Warriors improved to 24-0, but at the end, their energy was drained. Curry and Green played 47, and 50 minutes respectively. In a game that is supposed to be 48 minutes, playing that much on the front end of a back-to-back spells almost certain doom.

The Warriors went on to play their worst game of the season, as they shot 22 percent from deep the very next night in their one and only loss of the season at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks. While getting to 33 or even 34 straight games would have been truly special, what this team did over the first month and a half of the season will never be forgotten — and will likely never be seen again in professional sports. Nevertheless, the loss still stings.

Next: Looking Back At Golden State's Historic Streak Part One

“Losing sucks. Even if you are 24-1, losing still sucks,” interim head coach Luke Walton said after the game in Milwaukee, “I’m sure there will be a little relief mentally going forward.”

Everyone knew the Warriors were going to lose at some point during the season. In the NBA, every game is a potential blip on the radar, but now that the Warriors got the first one out of them way, they can reset, refocus, and get back to playing carefree basketball, something we all love to watch.