When looking back on a historic, record-breaking season like the Warriors just had, choosing the best game can be a daunting task. Some of these wins were like children or beloved pets; it’s almost impossible to choose between them. The whole season was practically a non-stop highlight reel. Maybe your favorite was win 73 at home against the Grizzlies to break the record. One of my favorites was the win on Steph Curry's birthday in March against the Pelicans, where Andrew Bogut hit a three pointer. I’m quite fond of those. Beating the Caveliers on Christmas Day was fun for the whole family, and who can forget about the opening run, which was capped off against the Celtics to start the season 24-0.
For me, though, there was no win better than the February 27th game against Oklahoma City. The drama was unparalleled. The Warriors were playing from behind for most of the game and it was starting to feel like one of those shrug-worthy losses until Curry decided to go nuclear.
The third quarter featured a NSFW three point duel between Curry and Kevin Durant. I mean it, don’t re-watch these highlights at work unless you want to fall into a slack-jawed stupor as you imagine the future. Durant scored an impressive 37 points but was out-shined by Curry’s 46 as he went an incredible 12-16 from downtown. Draymond Green was on his way to yet another double-double with 14 rebounds and assists each, as Klay Thompson joined in the fun, scoring 32 pts to help keep the Warriors in it, despite a lackluster offensive night from the bench.
That said, the real difference in this game, and what stands out the most to me, is that it all came down to Andre Iguodala shooting free throws. With just seconds to go and a two point deficit, Iguodala was fouled and went to the line for two shots, terrifying everyone who regularly watches Iguodala shoot free throws. And, as expected, he mis...
HE MADE BOTH OF HIS FREE THROWS? Well, of course he did. What else were you expecting with this team? I mean, why would you ever doubt Andre Iguodala? Shame on you.
Overtime started off a little rocky, but Curry kept the threes coming and Thompson had an incredibly timely four point play to tie it up. Finally, just to put his signature stink on it, Curry pulled up towards half-court for a jaw-dropping shot with just two seconds left on the clock to win it 121-118. And everyone lost their minds.
And Curry? He rubbed OKC & their fans’ noses in it. He rubbed America’s noses in it. He marched Arrogant Season right out onto the court and gave it its signature moment.
This game was iconic. It was the first time in my long history as a resident of the internet where everyone was talking about the exact same thing. NBA Twitter was freaking out.
is this real life?— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) February 28, 2016
Curry is UNREAL!!!!— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 28, 2016
@StephenCurry30 needs to stop it man!! He's ridiculous man! Never before seen someone like him in the history of ball!— LeBron James (@KingJames) February 28, 2016
But this dramatic win was bigger than that. Outside of NBA social media, I follow actors, musicians, politicians, athletes in other sports, comedians, etc. and everyone was talking about that game. Everyone at work on Monday was talking about that game. Everyone on every morning radio show was talking about that game, and I should point out that I live in Kings territory. It probably helped that it was a national broadcast on a Saturday night in February, there wasn’t exactly a lot of ratings competition, but it seemed like the entire country and more were watching.
So for me, this was the best game of the season. It was every bit the definition of a marquee match-up and more than lived up to the hype. It gave you the kind of memories that will keep you warm on a cold winter’s night in about 20 years when the Warriors are in re-build mode and have just been run off the court by, I don’t know, let’s go with the Nets. Future-me really appreciates that in a basketball game.
Go ahead and weigh in with your arguments for your favorite game and let’s continue to bask in the good things from last season while we wait for the new season to get here. And just for fun, while you’re thinking about all of these great games, mentally sub in Kevin Durant. If you switch out Durant and Harrison Barnes’ points in this game, for example, the Warriors win 154-85. The future is so bright.