The Golden State Warriors have the opportunity to become known as the winningest team in NBA history when they seek victory No. 73 in Wednesday’s regular-season finale against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies. The Warriors have tied the regular-season mark set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10), who were led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Reigning MVP Stephen Curry leads the Warriors and is looking forward to see if his team can dethrone the Bulls. “So many great players have suited up since the NBA began, and for us 15 guys to say we accomplished something as a group that has never been done before, that’s remarkable,” Curry told reporters after Tuesday’s practice. “We earned the right to have a 48-minute game to eclipse that mark, and we have to go out and finish the job and do it the right way.” Memphis put up a strong fight against the Warriors on Saturday but let a 10-point fourth-quarter lead get away before succumbing 100-99. The Grizzlies have lost nine of their last 10 games after being routed 110-84 by the Los Angeles Clippers and slipped into a tie for the sixth place with the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference playoff race.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Southeast (Memphis), CSN Bay Area (Golden State)
LINE HISTORY: The line for this potentially historic game opened with the Warriors as 17.5-point favorites and the public quickly bet that up to -18.5 by Wednesday morning. Later in the day the book moved the line even higher to -19. The total opened at 213.5 and, somewhat surprisingly, was bet down to 212.5.
Grizzlies – SG T. Allen (Doubtful Wednesday, hamstring), PF B. Wright (Out For Season, knee), PG M. Conley (Out For Season, achilles), C M. Gasol (Out For Season, foot).
Warriors – SF K. Looney (Out Indefinitely, hip).
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Grizzlies (-1) – Warriors (-14.6) + home court (-3) = Warriors -16.6
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (42-39, 42-38-1 ATS, 44-35-2 O/U): Memphis has been decimated by injuries and has been powerless to end its issues and the Grizzlies will be the seventh seed in the West should they finish tied with the Mavericks. “Yeah, the emotional tank is a little bit empty right now,” Memphis coach David Joerger said after the loss to the Clippers. “You also know that sitting out there 24 hours you’ve got a chance to be the answer on every Trivial Pursuit card for the next 75 years. We’ll see what we’re going to do with that.” Small forward Matt Barnes scored just seven points against the Clippers to halt a run of four straight double-digit efforts, which included 24 points and a season-high 15 rebounds in Saturday’s loss to the Warriors.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (72-9, 44-35-2 ATS, 44-36-1 O/U): The Golden State players are adamant that a 73rd victory won’t feel like a success unless the franchise wins a second consecutive NBA title. “In Chicago, they have a championship banner that says, ’72-10,'” forward Draymond Green said. “If we don’t win a championship, we’re not posting a banner that says, God willing, ’73-9,’ unless we can win a championship. So as bad as I want this record, we need to get something else to go along with it.” Center Andrew Bogut isn’t the least bit concerned about getting win No. 73, saying “I’d rather have the ring.”
DANCE TEAM WAR:
* Grizzlies are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games following a ATS loss.
* Warriors are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
* Under is 8-1 in Grizzlies last 9 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Under is 8-1 in Warriors last 9 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Under is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings.
* Grizzlies are 1-5 ATS in the last 6 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Covers public is crushing the Grizzlies at both +17.5 and +18.5 at a total rate of 69 percent. The over is getting hit at 63 percent.