So, the number 73 will live for at least another year in the NBA record book.
By losing Monday night in Denver, 132-120, to the Nuggets, the Warriors dropped to 46-9, mathematically eliminating any chance to break their NBA record of 73 wins, set last season. They’d have to go 27-0 to tie it, and that’s not happening.
Though they had not spent a split-second thinking about it, the Warriors could not have anticipated that a sub-.500 team, as the Nuggets are, would get in the way of much of anything in the regular season.
But it happens. There is such a thing as a “trap game” If conditions are right, it may happen again.
The road to 70, however, remains open. To get there, the Warriors would have to go 24-3 over the remainder of the regular season. Is it probable? Is there even a possibility? Or is it beyond realistic?
Here is a look at the five most dangerous games over the final two months:
Feb. 28 at Washington. There is value in it being a homecoming game for Kevin Durant. But it’s second night of a back-to-back set for the Warriors, and their third game in four nights. The Wizards, who started 16-18, have won 17 of their last 20 games and are 24-7 at home.
March 8 vs. Boston. It’s the first game back at Oracle Arena after a nine-day road trip. It’s against a Celtics team that is breathing down the necks of defending champion Cleveland, which has Boston is exploring trade options. If the Celtics bring in an impact player, look out.
March 11 at San Antonio. It’s the second night of a back-to-back set and, again, the third game in four nights. It’s the Spurs. Nothing more needs to be said.
March 28 at Houston. There is a revenge factor, as the Rockets are one of three teams to win in Oakland this season. They also happen to be one of the few teams capable of scoring with the Warriors.
March 29 at San Antonio. It’s the Spurs, once again on the second night of a back-to-back set, this one after a particularly challenging night in Houston. Oh, it’s also the third game in four nights. The Warriors haven’t swept the Spurs in San Antonio since 1996-97 -- the year David Robinson missed 76 games, and before the arrival of Tim Duncan.
If the Warriors manage to win three of those five games, they have a decent chance of getting to 70. If they win four, there is an excellent chance, as six of their last seven games are at home, with the only roadie at Phoenix.
Reaching 70 is a tall task indeed, but assuming they avoid any more surprise losses — such as those against the Lakers, the Heat, the Kings and, now, the Nuggets -- getting there is absolutely within the Warriors’ scope of achievement.