Why Tuesday's Warriors-Wolves game matters more than you might think

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

The 69-win Golden State Warriors, who have lost just once at home all season, host the 25-win Minnesota Timberwolves in a game that means a lot for Stephen Curry & Co. as they chase the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' record of 73 regular-season wins.

  • If the Warriors lose this game, they would have to win out to get to 73 wins, and their remaining schedule beyond Tuesday night includes a pair of games with the San Antonio Spurs. Put simply, the loss to the Boston Celtics last week dropped the Warriors' chances of winning 73 from 80 percent to 55 percent, and a loss to the Timberwolves would make 73 wins officially more unlikely than likely, per ESPN's BPI.

  • A win Tuesday night keeps open the prospect that the Warriors could get to 73 before the final game of the regular season, which would then allow Steve Kerr to rest his players for the season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies with the single-season wins record already in hand.

  • Beyond the prospect of 73 wins, the Warriors still have a chance to tie the mark for the best home record in NBA history, joining the 1985-86 Celtics at 40-1. But to do that, they'd need to beat the Timberwolves (as well as the Spurs and Grizzlies in their final two home games of the season).

  • Three of the Warriors' eight losses this season have come against teams below .500 (which the Timberwolves are, by a considerable amount). They even have a loss to a team lower than Minnesota in the standings: the 16-60 Lakers.

  • The last time these two teams met, the game was tied with two minutes left, and the Warriors escaped with a 109-104 win. So the lowly Wolves have already proven they can hang with Golden State, at least for 46 minutes.

  • And even if this game turns into a total mismatch, any meeting between the Warriors and Timberwolves gives fans a chance to revisit the 2009 NBA draft, when Minnesota passed on the chance to select Curry, instead picking two point guards, Ricky Rubio fifth overall and Jonny Flynn one pick later. Rubio and Flynn, who is no longer in the NBA, have combined for 294 career 3-pointers -- 84 fewer than Curry himself has made this season alone.