OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors clinched a playoff spot with more than six weeks to spare.
The defending NBA champions wrapped up a berth when the Houston Rockets lost Saturday night to the San Antonio Spurs. That assured the Warriors will finish among the top eight teams in the Western Conference.
A spokesman for the Warriors said they are the first team since the 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers to secure a trip to the postseason before the end of February. The Boston Celtics clinched a playoff spot by Feb. 24 in 1985, and by Feb. 26 the following year, according to STATS.
About an hour after the Rockets lost, Golden State improved to 53-5 — the best start in league history — when Curry hit a 3-pointer from well beyond 30 feet with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Warriors a thrilling 121-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Curry had 46 points and his winning shot was his 12th 3-pointer, tying the NBA single-game record. The reigning MVP also broke his own record for 3s in a season, leaving the new mark at 288.
Golden State has 24 regular-season games remaining.