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The big night arrives: Warriors go for 73 wins at Oracle

Warriors have installed the team's 2016 playoff signage, using the Strength in Numbers slogan seen on Oracle Arena on April 12, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The entire Warriors season is now down to one game tonight, when the team could break a long-standing NBA record for the most wins in a regular season.

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We've heard about the pursuit of 73 for months now, and the day that will make or break it is finally here.

The Golden State Warriors are 72-9 this season. Each team to win at least 69 games in a season has gone on to win the title -- the 72-win Bulls (1995-96), 69-win Bulls (1996-97) and 69-win Lakers (1971-72).

The Warriors came close to the Bulls' record for most wins during a two-season span, but will fall at least one win short. The Bulls accumulated 141 wins in the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons. The Warriors have 139 wins in the past two seasons entering tonight's game.

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Coming off of a win in San Antonio, and without a prior loss to Memphis, the Warriors have already sealed that they will go the entire season without losing to the same team twice or losing back-to-back games. Elias Sports Bureau research notes they will be the first team to accomplish either of those feats.

How have they done it?

By excelling across the board.

The Warriors are the best passing team in the NBA. They have 42 games this season in which they've had at least 30 assists. No other team has done it even 20 times. Golden State ranks first in assists per game (28.9).

The offensive output they're most known for is their 3-pointers. Stephen Curry has posted records in the category, but so has the team as a whole.

They've made 1,057 3s this season. No other team has ever hit more than 950 in a season.

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And it's not just about the offense. They have the NBA's best offense and best defense in clutch situations (final five minutes of the fourth quarter/OT and the score within five points). In those clutch situations they've outscored opponents by more than 38 points per 100 possessions, twice as good as any other team in the league.

Having the reigning MVP, in a season better than his award-winning campaign, certainly helps.

In addition to increasing his scoring average by more than six points per game compared to last season's MVP numbers, Curry has already shattered his own 3-point record and is trying to match Wilt Chamberlain's player efficiency rating (PER) record.

Curry enters the final game of the season with a 31.3 PER. The record is 31.8, set by Chamberlain in 1962-63.

If Curry wins the MVP this season and the Warriors win the title, he'll become just the fourth player in NBA history to win MVP and an NBA title in back-to-back seasons.

The others are 1960-63 Bill Russell, 1990-92 Michael Jordan and 2011-13 LeBron James.

PHOTOS: Golden State Warriors fans 2015-2016 season

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ABC7 News contributed to this story.

Related Topics:
sportsGolden State WarriorsNBAstephen currybasketballChicago BullsOaklandOracle Arena
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