The Warriors haven't quite locked up the Western Conference, but it would take a major implosion for them to slip of out of the top spot.
They're 50-12 after a 98-80 victory over the reeling Suns on Monday night at US Airways Center in Phoenix. It's the best record in the NBA and gives the Warriors a 5.5 game lead over the second-place Memphis Grizzlies.
Put another way, the Warriors could go 10-10 over their final 20 games and Memphis (45-18) would have to go 15-4 to pull into a tie.
As it is, the Warriors have reached the 50-win mark for the second consecutive season – for the first time in franchise history. And, no, there was no celebration.
"We expected to get back to 50," said Draymond Green, who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. "That wasn't really one of our goals. We have much bigger goals than getting to 50 wins."
Coach Steve Kerr has repeatedly stressed performance over reflecting on the standings. He has done a marvelous job, but there is plenty of season to play – and then the second season, the playoffs, which begins April 18.
"Fifty wins at this stage of the season, with 20 games left, is remarkable," Kerr said. "But . . . I'm not focused on the record. I'm just focused on getting better every day and continuing the improvement. We still have another level to get to. We know that. But we’ve had a great season. Hopefully, we'll keep it going."
Win No. 50 was not one a performance for the ages, aside from Stephen Curry's latest tour de force, featuring a game-high 36 points. With the offensive pedigrees of the two teams, this was far more gruesome than expected.
The teams combined for 37 turnovers, with the Warriors committing 18. The Warriors shot 42.2 percent, while the Suns shot 37.7 percent. And though some of those numbers could be attributed to defense, a lot of it was just artless basketball.
A 9-0 Phoenix run to end the first half forced a 46-46 tie, which prompted Kerr to light up his team for such a sloppy finish.
"To have a nine-point lead with two minutes to go and come in tied up, that's not how we're expected to do things," Green said. "We expect to get better and that's part of growing. Everybody was pretty pissed off, but we responded well in the third quarter."
The Warriors, holding a 53-52 lead with 8:49 to play in the third quarter, snapped out of it. The defense intensified, holding Phoenix to 29.4 percent in the third quarter. On offense, well, Curry heated up, scoring 10 points during a 23-5 run that sank the Suns.
"Steph took the game over on offense and everyone competed on defense," said Klay Thompson, who scored 7 points during the spurt. "We have such a long and talented team that we can make it hard on teams every possession."
Curry scored 10 points in the third quarter. And when the Suns (33-32) threatened a comeback by getting to within nine, Curry fired back with 15 points in less than six minutes to bury them for good.
"Steph was spectacular and hit so many shots," Kerr said. "I got on him at halftime a little bit. The last two minutes of the first half were really disappointing. We just lost our focus. He came out in the second half just on fire, and locked in. He was incredible."
Having snapped a three-game losing streak at Phoenix, where they had lost 16 of the last 19, the Warriors return home as the first team in franchise history – and one of only 20 in NBA history – to know the feeling of being at least 50-12.
Not that they're impressed with themselves.
"It's cool, a cool story," Green said. "But we've got much better dreams and goals than getting to 50 wins in 62 games."
Though the Suns have been struggling lately, the third-quarter defense was stifling. The Warriors limited them to 5-of-17 shooting for the quarter.
Curry's numbers: 14 of 24, 7 of 13 from deep. And, just for fun, four steals.
Thompson had another nice night, with 25 points, including 4-of-8 beyond the arc.
The Warriors posted a strong rebounding game, winning that battle 48-37.
Green (3-of-13) and Barnes (3-of-8) combined to shoot 28.6 percent.
Despite winning, the 18 turnovers will sit in the pit of Kerr's stomach for hours.
On the challenging side of the back-to-back set, the Warriors were less than sharp for most of the game. They can get away with that against struggling teams, as Phoenix is, because they're so explosive. One or two good runs and most teams are finished. The Warriors seem to know that and find ways to deliver.
Win No. 50 is a nice round number. They'll take it. But they won't wear it for long because the season goes on. They're shooting for 60, a number no Warriors team has ever reached.