BOSTON — The Golden State Warriors have won their first 23 games of the 2015-16 season, and will go for a 24th straight win when they face the Boston Celtics at TD Garden here Friday night. So why, if the Warriors have only won 23 games, have you seen people saying all over the place that the Warriors have won 27 straight?
In short, bookkeeping.
The NBA keeps two separate records: one for single-season records, and one for records accrued over multiple years. Up until now, the record for consecutive wins — one of the most hallowed records in the sport — is held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who won 33 games in a row behind Hall of Famers Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain that season. But because Golden State won its final four games of the 2014-15 regular season, the NBA officially has the Warriors carrying two separate streaks at the moment: one that’s 23 games long for this season alone, and one that is 27 games long overall.
Where this will get confusing is when the NBA spends the week leading up to Golden State’s Finals rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., trumpeting that game as the one that will tie the all-time wins record for the Lakers — all while the Warriors would win only their 29th game if they come away victorious.
Not surprisingly, it’s also led to plenty of internet outrage, as people don’t see the value in counting wins from last season after the Warriors lost three games during the playoffs.
But whether fans and the media like it or not, there are two separate records in play. Welcome to the 2015-16 season, where only the Warriors could find themselves capable of breaking two records where everyone thinks there should only be one.
For what it’s worth, the Warriors themselves tried to downplay the importance of the issue after Wednesday’s practice here at Emerson College.
“We don’t really look at records or streaks or whatever that is,” Draymond Green said.
You’re the only one, Draymond.