The 2015–16 Golden State Warriors season was the 70th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and its 54th in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Warriors entered the season as the defending NBA champions and they set the best ever regular-season record of 73–9, breaking the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls record of 72–10. Golden State broke over twenty-five NBA records and more than ten franchise records that season, including most wins ever recorded in a season (regular-season and postseason combined); with 88. This team's regular season is considered to be one of the greatest in NBA and professional sports history.
In the postseason, the Warriors beat the Houston Rockets 4–1 in the first round of the playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers 4–1 in the Western Conference Semi-finals and they won the Western Conference Championship by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 4–3, becoming just the 10th team to come back from a 1–3 deficit. The Warriors played the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year, where they lost in seven games and became the first team in NBA history to give up a 3–1 lead in the Finals.
The Warriors began the 2015–16 season by winning their first 24 games, eclipsing the previous best start in NBA history, set by the 1993–94 Houston Rockets and the 1948–49 Washington Capitols at 15–0. Their record-setting start ended when they were defeated by the Milwaukee Bucks on December 12, 2015. The Warriors broke a 131-year-old record of 20–0 set by the 1884 St. Louis Maroons baseball team, to claim the best start to a season in all of the major professional sports in America. They also won 28 consecutive regular-season games dating back to the 2014–15 season, eclipsing the 2012–13 Miami Heat for the second longest winning streak in NBA history. The team set an NBA record 54-straight regular-season home-game winning streak, which spanned from January 31, 2015 to March 29, 2016. The previous record of 44 was held by the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls. Golden State broke their franchise record of 28 road wins in a season which they set in 2014–15; they ended the season with 34, passing the same mid-1990s Chicago Bulls team led by Michael Jordan for the most road wins in NBA history. The team became the first in NBA history to go the entire regular-season without back-to-back losses and without losing to the same team twice. The team's record-setting roster would be featured in NBA 2K18.
Steve Kerr was named Coach of the Year, the third coach in Warriors history to win the award. Stephen Curry was named Most Valuable Player for a second successive season and is the first unanimous winner in NBA history. Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were all named to the All-Star Game, the first time the Warriors have had three All-Stars since 1976. Curry broke his own NBA record for made three-pointers in a season of 286, finishing with 402. Curry won the scoring title, averaging 30.1 points per game and led the league in steals and had the best free throw percentage. He became the seventh player to enter the 50–40–90 club (he shot 50% for field goals, 45% for three-pointers and 91% for free throws during the entire regular season).
|2015–16 Golden State Warriors season|
|Head coach||Steve Kerr|
Luke Walton[a] (interim)
|General manager||Bob Myers|
|Place||Division: 1st (Pacific)|
Conference: 1st (Western)
|Playoff finish||NBA Finals|
(Lost to Cavaliers 3–4)
|Television||Comcast SportsNet Bay Area|
The 2015 NBA draft took place on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Golden State chose power forward Kevon Looney with the 30th pick of the first round. On July 27, the Warriors traded David Lee to the Boston Celtics for Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb. Four days later, Wallace was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jason Thompson.
The Warriors opened the regular season on October 27 with assistant coach Luke Walton coaching for the team after it was confirmed that coach Steve Kerr's back would not heal in time for the beginning of the regular season. Before the opener, the Golden State Warriors revealed their first title banner in 40 years and received their championship rings during a ceremony acknowledging the 2014–15 champions. Every player on the roster, with the exception of traded player David Lee, was in attendance with also the full coaching staff to celebrate the winningest season for the franchise. Golden State opened the season with four wins and a combined margin-of-victory of 100 points, surpassing the 1961–62 Boston Celtics (99 points) for the largest win-margin over the first four games. On November 27, the Warriors set new franchise records for longest winning streak (17) and three-point field goals made (22) in a 135–116 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
On December 5, the Warriors beat the Toronto Raptors 112–109 to improve to 21–0 and set a new record for best start to a season in all major professional sports in America, eclipsing the 20–0 mark set by the 1884 St. Louis Maroons baseball team of the Union Association. Also, with this 11th straight road victory, the Warriors set a new franchise-record for the longest road winning streak in their history. Golden State's 131–123 win on December 8 over the Pacers in Indianapolis improved their road record to 13–0, the best such start to a season in NBA history. The win improved their overall record to 23–0. On December 11, Golden State defeated the Boston Celtics 124–119 (2OT) to improve to 24–0 and move into second place on the NBA's longest winning streaks list (28), five games behind the Los Angeles Lakers' 33-game win streak. During this game Draymond Green recorded a five-by-five game, with 24 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 steals and 5 blocks. The feat of recording at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, five steals and five blocks has only been achieved seven times by three different players (including five times by Hakeem Olajuwon).[b] Since the 1983–84 NBA season, only 16 players have recorded a 5x5 line. The winning streak to start the season ended at 24 games when they were beaten by the Milwaukee Bucks, 108–95. The loss also ended their 28-game winning streak (dating to the 2014–15 regular season), the second-longest in NBA history.[c] The Warriors finished the 2015 calendar year with a 72-12 (.857) record between two seasons, the second-best winning percentage in NBA history. They went 88–17 (.838) including play-off games.
In a win against the New York Knicks on January 31, Green tied Hall of Famer Tom Gola's franchise record of nine triple-doubles in a season. Golden State reached the NBA All-Star break at 48–4, the best start to an NBA season at this juncture. On February 13, Klay Thompson won the Three-Point Contest at the All-Star weekend, beating Stephen Curry 27–23 in the final round. The 27 points tied Curry's record set the previous year for most points scored in a round. By defeating the Atlanta Hawks on February 22, the Warriors became the fastest team to reach 50 wins in a season, accomplishing this in just 55 games. Golden State also had 30 assists in a game for the 29th time this season, setting a new franchise record. On February 27, the Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder and won their 29th road game of the season, breaking the franchise record of 28 which they set last season. They also became the fastest team ever in NBA history to clinch a playoff berth, accomplishing it in just 58 games. They bettered the 1985–86 Boston Celtics by just one day. This was also the earliest a team had clinched a playoff spot in February since the 1987–88 Los Angeles Lakers (although the 2015–16 season started almost two weeks earlier than the 1987–88 season did within their respective calendar years). In this game Stephen Curry also broke the single season three-point record (286), a record that he himself held, by making his 287th and 288th three-pointers of the season as two of his 12 three-pointers of the game, tying the single game NBA three-point record (jointly holding it with Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall).
On March 3, the Warriors tied the 1995–1996 Chicago Bulls for the longest regular-season home-game winning streak in NBA history (44 games), with a 121–106 victory at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Warriors' streak dated back to the previous year. Entering the game on March 6, the Los Angeles Lakers (.190) and Golden State (.917) had a .727 difference in win percentage, making the Lakers' blowout 112–95 win the biggest upset in NBA history. On March 7, the Warriors won their 45th-straight regular season home game over the Orlando Magic, eclipsing the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls 44 wins in a row, to claim the NBA record. Stephen Curry became the first player in NBA history to score 300 three-pointers in a single season. In a 128–112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on March 11, both teams combined for 37 made three-pointers (18 by the Warriors, 19 by the Blazers), an all-time NBA record. With a Los Angeles Clippers' loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 13, the Warriors officially clinched the Pacific Division title for second consecutive season and fourth time overall. By defeating the New Orleans Pelicans on March 14, the Warriors became the fastest team to reach 60 wins in a season, accomplishing this in just 66 games. With a road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 21, Golden State became only the ninth team in NBA history to achieve 31 wins on the road in the regular season. The Warriors finished the Pacific Division with a 15–1 (.938) record, the best intradivisional record in franchise history.
In a 128–120 win over the Dallas Mavericks on March 25, both teams combined for 39 made three-pointers (21 by the Warriors, 18 by the Mavericks), an all-time NBA record, which beat the 37 set by the Warriors and Blazers two weeks earlier. Golden State also eclipsed the previous record for most three-pointers in a single season by a team in NBA history (933) that had been set by the Houston Rockets the previous year. The Warriors dished out 32 assists against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 27, the 39th time this season the team has had a 30-assist game; the most in the NBA since the 1991–92 Chicago Bulls finished with 40. With their 102–94 win against the Washington Wizards on March 29, the Warriors tied their franchise record of most wins in a single season (67) which had been set the previous year. The Warriors earned their franchise record 68th victory of the season with a 103–96 win in overtime against the Utah Jazz on March 30. They improved to 6–0 in overtime this season, extending a franchise record for OT wins in a single season. Draymond Green became the first player in NBA history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists, 100 steals and 100 blocks in a season.
On April 1, Golden State lost at home for the first time since January 27, 2015. They fell to the Boston Celtics 109–106 and snapped a 54-game regular-season home winning streak. Their home record for this season dropped to 36–1 with the loss. Golden State became the first team in NBA history to score 1,000 three-pointers in a single season during their 136–111 win against the Portland Trail Blazers. The win was Golden State's 69th of the season, making them the fourth team in NBA history to record at least 69 wins in a season, along with the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers and 1995–96/1996–97 Chicago Bulls teams. The Warriors became the first team since the 1991–92 Chicago Bulls to record 40 games with at least 30 assists in a single season. By defeating the San Antonio Spurs on April 7, the Warriors became only the 2nd team in NBA history to reach 70 wins in a season, joining the 72-win 1995–96 Chicago Bulls. After defeating the Spurs again on April 10, the Warriors tied the NBA record for most regular-season wins with 72, previously set by the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls. Golden State snapped a 33-game regular season losing streak against the Spurs in San Antonio (lasting since February 14, 1997), the second longest such streak against one team in NBA history. The Warriors also ended the Spurs' NBA record 39 home wins to start the season (in total a 48-game home winning streak dating back to the previous season.) Golden State became the first team in NBA history to go the entire regular season without back-to-back losses and the first team in NBA history to go the entire regular season without losing to the same team twice.
The Warriors broke the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls' record for best regular season in NBA history after defeating the Memphis Grizzles 125–104 on April 13, finishing with a record of 73–9. With the win, Golden State tied their franchise record for home wins with 39, which they set last season. The Warriors finished the season at an NBA-record 64 games above .500. Curry made 10 three-pointers against Memphis, making him the first player in NBA history to hit 400 threes in a single season; he finished with 402. Curry finished the season averaging 30.1 points per game, making him the first Warriors NBA scoring champion since Rick Barry in the 1966–67 NBA season. Curry became the seventh player to enter the 50–40–90 club, where he shot 50% for field goals, 45% for three-pointers and 91% for free throws during an entire regular season. This feat has only been achieved eleven times by seven players (Steve Nash having done it four times).
Golden State beat the Houston Rockets 121–94 on April 24 to go up 3–1 in the first round series, in doing so they set the NBA record for threes made in a playoff game, hitting 21-of-40 (.525). Steve Kerr was named Coach of the Year on April 26, the third Warriors coach to win the award after Alex Hannum in 1963–64 and Don Nelson in 1991–92. Under Kerr's leadership the Warriors led the league in scoring (114.9 points), field goal percentage (.487), three-point percentage (.416), assists (28.9), point differential (+10.8) and offensive rating (112.5 points per 100 possessions), while becoming the first team in league history to hit 1,000 three-pointers in a single season with an NBA-record 1,077 triples. Kerr holds an overall regular-season record of 140–24 (.854) in his two seasons with the Warriors. The Warriors eliminated the Houston Rockets on April 27 with a blowout victory of 114–81, winning the series 4–1 and progressing to the Western Conference Semi-finals to face the Portland Trail Blazers. Klay Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make at least seven three-pointers in consecutive playoff games.
On May 9, a 132–125 OT win over the Portland Trail Blazers put Golden State up 3–1 in the series, Steph Curry scored 40 points in his first game back after being out injured for 15 days with an MCL sprain. He scored 17 of his points in overtime, which broke the NBA record of 16 held by Gilbert Arenas for most points scored in an overtime period (regular-season or postseason). Stephen Curry was named Most Valuable Player on May 10, making it the third time a Warrior had won the award after Wilt Chamberlain won in the 1959–60 NBA season and Curry in 2014–15. Curry is the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP honors and is the first unanimous winner in NBA history with all 131 first-place votes. On May 11, the Warriors beat the Trail Blazers 125–121 in Game 5 to clinch the series and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the second consecutive year, where they faced the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the game, Curry continued his streak of making a three-pointer in every playoff game he's ever played in and tied the NBA playoff record set by Reggie Miller of 44-straight.
In their 95th and 96th games of the season, Golden State lost back-to-back games for the first time all season (105–133 and 94–118 losses to the Thunder, putting them down 1–3 in the Western Conference Finals). On May 26, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were named to the 2015–16 All-NBA Team, the first time three Warriors have earned the accolade since the 1955–56 season when Neil Johnston, Paul Arizin, and Jack George were selected. Curry was unanimously selected for first team honors, Green for the second team and Thompson got third team recognition. The Warriors tied the Western Conference Finals series at 3–3 on May 28, with a 108–101 road win over the Thunder. Klay Thompson made eleven three-pointers, breaking the NBA playoff record of nine. Golden State tied their franchise record for most three-pointers made in a playoff game with 21. Golden State also set a new franchise record for wins with their 84th of the season (regular-season and postseason combined), surpassing the 83 from the 2014–15 season. In Game 7, the Warriors defeated the Thunder 96–88, becoming only the 10th team (out of 233 teams) in NBA history to overcome a 3–1 series deficit. The win was their 85th of the year. It was the second time in NBA history that the defending champions came back from a 3–1 deficit in the conference finals, after the 1978–79 Washington Bullets. Golden State reached the NBA Finals for the second straight year, making this the franchise's first appearances in back-to-back NBA Finals since the 1946–47 season and 1947–48 season. The Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of the 2015 NBA Finals.
In Game 1 on June 2, Golden State beat Cleveland 104–89. The Warriors were led by their bench, with Shaun Livingston scoring a team-high 20 points. The 35-point bench advantage (45-10) the Warriors had over the Cavs is the largest by any team in the Finals in the last 50 years. The Warriors won Game 2 by a blowout 110–77, to go up 2–0 in the series. Golden State won the first 2 games by a combined 48 points, the largest point-differential through first 2 games in NBA Finals history. After Golden State lost Game 3 by a blowout 90–120, they came back in Game 4 to win 108–97, to take a 3–1 series lead. The Warriors made 17 three-pointers, an NBA record for a single Finals game. The Warriors' win in Game 4 was their 88th of the season, which broke the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls record of 87 for most wins in an NBA season (regular-season and postseason combined). Late in the fourth quarter of Game 4, Draymond Green and LeBron James got into a scuffle. Green was retroactively charged with a Flagrant Foul 1 for swiping James in the groin and received a one-game suspension for Game 5, after accumulating his fourth flagrant foul point in the playoffs, and James was given a technical foul for taunting Green. The Cavaliers capitalized on Green's absence by beating the Warriors in Game 5 by a score of 112–97.
After serving his suspension, Green returned to play in Game 6. Game 6 was played on June 16, exactly one year after Golden State won Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals, which was also played in Cleveland. Unlike in the 2015 NBA Finals, however, the Warriors failed to clinch the title in Game 6. The Warriors were outscored 11–31 by the Cavaliers in the first quarter, and Cleveland never relinquished their lead as Golden State lost 101–115. This was only the second time in 105 games this season (regular-season and postseason) that the Warriors lost at least two games in a row. The loss evened the series at three games apiece, forcing a Game 7, the first Game 7 in an NBA Finals appearance in Golden State franchise history. During the fourth quarter of Game 6, Stephen Curry, who set the record for most three-pointers in an NBA Finals series during the game (28), fouled out with his sixth personal foul. Curry angrily responded by throwing his mouthguard into the stands and hit a fan, which resulted in a technical foul and the first ejection of his career. It was the first time in 20 years that a player had been ejected from an NBA Finals game. After the game, Curry received a $25,000 fine for his actions, but was not suspended for Game 7. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr also received a $25,000 fine for his criticism of the officiating, which he felt was biased against Curry, in the post-game press conference.
On June 19, 2016, Golden State lost Game 7 by a score of 89–93, becoming the first team in NBA history to squander a 3–1 lead in the NBA Finals. They also became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 1–3 deficit and lose a 3–1 lead in the same playoffs. The Warriors are the 11th team in NBA history to lose a 3–1 series lead and just the fourth team in NBA history to lose an NBA Finals' Game 7 on their home court. The loss marked the first time since Steve Kerr became head coach that the Warriors had lost three straight games. Golden State became the first team in NBA history to finish with the same number of regular-season and postseason losses (9). Golden State also became the first team in NBA history with 69 or more regular season wins that failed to win the NBA Championship.
Golden State broke numerous regular-season, postseason and franchise records this year, both as a team and individually.
|1||30||Kevon Looney||PF||United States||UCLA|
|2015 pre-season game log|
Total: 3–4 (Home: 2–1; Road: 1–3)
Pre-season: 3–4 (Home: 2–1; Road: 1–3)
|2015–16 season schedule|
|z – Golden State Warriors||73||9||.890||0.0||39–2||34–7||15–1||82|
|x – Los Angeles Clippers||53||29||.646||20.0||29–12||24–17||9–7||82|
|Los Angeles Lakers||17||65||.207||56.0||12–29||5–36||2–14||82|
|1||z – Golden State Warriors *||73||9||.890||–||82|
|2||y – San Antonio Spurs *||67||15||.817||6.0||82|
|3||y – Oklahoma City Thunder *||55||27||.671||18.0||82|
|4||x – Los Angeles Clippers||53||29||.646||20.0||82|
|5||x – Portland Trail Blazers||44||38||.537||29.0||82|
|6||x – Dallas Mavericks||42||40||.512||31.0||82|
|7||x – Memphis Grizzlies||42||40||.512||31.0||82|
|8||x – Houston Rockets||41||41||.500||32.0||82|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||30||52||.366||43.0||82|
|15||Los Angeles Lakers||17||65||.207||56.0||82|
|2015–16 game log|
Total: 73–9 (Home: 39–2; Road: 34–7)
October: 3–0 (Home: 1–0; Road: 2–0)
November : 16–0 (Home: 9–0; Road: 7–0)
December : 11–2 (Home: 5–0; Road: 6–2)
January : 14–2 (Home: 7–0; Road: 7–2)
February : 9–1 (Home: 2–0; Road: 7–1)
March : 15–2 (Home: 12–0; Road: 3–2)
April : 5–2 (Home: 3–2; Road: 2–0)
|2015–16 season schedule|
|2016 playoff game log|
Total: 15–9 (Home: 11–3; Road: 4–6)
First Round: 4–1 (Home: 3–0; Road: 1–1)
Conference Semifinals: 4–1 (Home: 3–0; Road: 1–1)
Conference Finals: 4–3 (Home: 3–1; Road: 1–2)
NBA Finals: 3–4 (Home: 2–2; Road: 1–2)
|2016 playoff schedule|
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
* – Recorded statistics when playing for Golden State
|James Michael McAdoo||41||1||6.4||53.6||50.0||53.1||1.4||0.4||0.2||0.2||2.9|
|James Michael McAdoo||8||0||4.8||50.0||0.0||25.0||1.0||0.3||0.4||0.3||0.6|
|2015–16 Golden State Warriors roster|
|July 27, 2015
||To Golden State Warriors
|To Boston Celtics|
|July 31, 2015
||To Golden State Warriors
|To Philadelphia 76ers|
Cash and draft consideration
|Ian Clark||1-year contract||Denver Nuggets|
|Anderson Varejão||1-year contract||Portland Trail Blazers|
(never officially played for Portland and was waived on February 18)
|Player||Reason left||New team|
|Justin Holiday||2-year contract worth $1.9 million||Atlanta Hawks|
|Ognjen Kuzmić||—||Panathinaikos B.C.|
|Jason Thompson||Waived||Toronto Raptors|
|Stephen Curry||Western Conference Player of the Week||November 2, 2015|||
|Stephen Curry||Western Conference Player of the Week||November 23, 2015|||
|Luke Walton||Western Conference Coach of the Month
|December 1, 2015|||
|Stephen Curry||Western Conference Player of the Month
|December 3, 2015|||
|Stephen Curry||Western Conference Player of the Week||December 7, 2015|||
|Draymond Green||Western Conference Player of the Week||January 4, 2016|||
|Stephen Curry||Western Conference Player of the Week||February 29, 2016|||
|Stephen Curry||Western Conference Player of the Month
|March 3, 2016|||
|Stephen Curry||Western Conference Player of the Week||March 14, 2016|||
|Klay Thompson||Western Conference Player of the Week||March 28, 2016|||
|Steve Kerr||Western Conference Coach of the Month
|April 1, 2016|||
|Steve Kerr||Coach of the Year||April 26, 2016|||
|Stephen Curry||Most Valuable Player||May 10, 2016|||
2015–16 NBA season by team
Bold indicates NBA Finals victory
|G League affiliate|
|Culture and lore|