Why Dubs can take solace in 2021 Bucks with 39-point loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Things didn’t go well for the Warriors during their 134-95 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals at FedExForum on Wednesday night.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Golden State’s series lead was diminished to 3-2 after the team’s 39-point loss. And while 39 points is a demoralizing margin of defeat, the Warriors can simply look to the 2021 NBA playoffs for some motivation.
Per Sportradar, the last team to lose by 39 points or more in the postseason was the Milwaukee Bucks — who just so happened to go on and win the 2021 NBA Finals.
Before hoisting the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy last year, the Bucks fell to the Brooklyn Nets 125-86 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. With the loss, Milwaukee fell behind 0-2 in the series — but we know how that ended up.
That’s right: It’s entirely possible to lose by 39 and still come out an NBA champion.
Wednesday’s loss marked the fifth-worst playoff defeat for Golden State in franchise history. The Warriors’ worst playoff loss came in 1973 at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, who beat them by 56 points during the Western Conference Finals.
Despite the loss, Golden State’s chances of bouncing back in Game 6 appear to be pretty good.
Statistics provided by Sportradar also show that the Dubs’ loss on Wednesday night was just one point away from potential disaster, as no team has ever lost a playoff game by 40-plus points and then gone on to win an NBA title.
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As the Warriors head into a pivotal Game 6 matchup on Friday with a chance to close out the series at Chase Center, their hopes for a seventh NBA title are still alive and well.