The Golden State Warriors are five wins away from the NBA’s single-season victory mark and look to capture their 69th win when they host the Boston Celtics on Friday. Golden State, which has won six straight games, needs to go 5-2 over the final seven games to surpass the 72-victory record set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
The Warriors have won 13 of their last 14 games and set a franchise record Wednesday with their 68th victory by outlasting Utah 103-96 in overtime. “(The record) is something we want to do; we’ve spoken on this,” forward Draymond Green told reporters. “It is no secret. It will be a cool thing to do, but we have to worry about getting better each and every night. I think if we worry about that, the wins will take care of themselves.” Boston suffered a 116-109 road loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday to fall into sixth place in the Eastern Conference but the Celtics are just 1 1/2 games behind the third-place Atlanta Hawks. Boston All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas scored 20 or more points in all 14 games in March and averaged 25.9 points for the month.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, CSN New England (Boston), CSN Bay Area (Golden State)
LINE HISTORY: The Warriors opened as 12-point home favorites over the Celtics, where they are 36-0 SU (19-17 ATS). The total opened at 223 and was immediately bet down a point and a half to 215.5. It has since been bet back up to 222. Check out the complete line history here.
Celtics – No injuries to report.
Warriors – SF K. Looney (out Friday, hip), C F. Ezeli (out Friday, knee), SF A. Iguodala (out Friday, ankle).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Celtics (-6.1) – Warriors (-15) + home court (-3) = Warriors -12
WHAT SHARPS SAY: “The Warriors continue to be No. 2 in the West ATS (41-32-3), but have now failed to cover five of their last seven games. Four of those ATS defeats came as double digit favorites.” – Covers Expert Power Sports.
ABOUT THE CELTICS (43-32, 39-35-1 ATS, 36-39 O/U): Small forward Jae Crowder returned from an eight-game absence because of an ankle injury and had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Portland. Boston coach Brad Stevens said that Crowder wouldn’t be on a minutes’ restriction but there is a chance he could be held out against the Warriors if the training staff decides it is too much of a risk for him to immediately play both ends of a back-to-back. “I’m hopeful that, knock on wood, we can get healthy and be healthy the rest of the way through and build off of some of the good things that we’ve done,” Stevens told reporters. “And hopefully get back to playing a little bit like we were playing, really, before the All-Star break.”
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (68-7, 41-32-2 ATS, 41-33-1 O/U): Golden State looks to extends its NBA-record home winning streak to 55 games and the contest with the Celtics is the opener of a four-game homestand that includes games against the Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors also have a road game at San Antonio for their next-to-last game of the season but coach Steve Kerr sees every game as being important at this point. “We always compete; that is the great thing about this team,” Kerr said after his team rallied to force overtime en route to the win over the Jazz. “That is why we have this record and our guys compete every night. I love our competitive spirit. No matter what our record ends up, it almost doesn’t matter. It is just an incredible display of competition and fight night after night.”
* Celtics are 1-7 ATS in their last eight road games.
* Warriors are 1-4 ATS in their last five versus Eastern Conference opponents.
* Over is 4-1 in Celtics last five games playing on zero days rest.
* Under is 6-1 in Warriors last seven games overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Bettors are giving the Celtics a slight edge with the a number apparently many feel is too high. Fifty-four percent of wagers are on Boston, while 69 percent are on the over.