The Warriors (69-9) lost their last game, in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves, which means they must now win out to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' single-season record of 72 wins. ESPN's Basketball Power Index gives them just a 14 percent chance of doing so.
Because they're coming off a loss, the Warriors also need to win to maintain their streak of not losing back-to-back games all season. They're looking to become the first team in NBA history to achieve that.
The team looking to break that streak -- the San Antonio Spurs -- also is looking to finish the season without dropping two in a row. Tonight's game is the first of two between these teams in the final week of the season.
The Spurs could become the first team to beat the Warriors twice. Entering tonight, Golden State's nine losses have come to the Bucks, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pistons, Trail Blazers, Lakers, Spurs, Celtics and Timberwolves.
San Antonio (65-12) can't get to 73 -- or even 71 -- wins, but there's another carrot dangling for Gregg Popovich's squad beyond just spoiling Golden State's quest for history: home-court advantage. Amazingly, the Warriors haven't locked that down yet. The Spurs could steal it by winning out and having the Warriors drop one of their two remaining games against the Grizzlies. The Spurs also could steal home court with another loss, but that would require the Warriors to lose all four of their remaining games.
There's a bit of personal history at stake for Stephen Curry. The Warriors guard needs 18 3-pointers to become the first player ever to make 400 in a season (he's already the only player in the 300 club). That's an average of 4.5 3-point baskets per game, slightly lower than his full-season average (5.1) and just below his average in the past 10 games (4.6). In his two games against the Spurs this season, Curry has made seven 3-pointers, including a 6-for-9 performance in a win in January and a 1-for-12 night in a loss last month.