The NBA and its fans might just have witnessed the greatest NBA season finale in league history on Wednesday.
28 of 30 NBA teams played their final game of the 2015-2016 NBA regular season with a pair of match-ups—the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz or “Kobe Bryant’s finale” and the Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies or the “73 W”—both highly-anticipated and hyped because of what was at stake.
Safe to say, the “Black Mamba” delivered to prove the hype was real and Stephen Curry made sure the anticipation was worth it, turning in another MVP-type performance in the final game of the Warriors’ golden season.
While Kobe and Curry were the major characters in this drama-filled season finale, other teams and players also made their mark in the final playing date of the regular season—delivering wins (or suffering losses) that will now define what will happen in the upcoming playoffs.
Celtics 26-point comeback in win over Heat
The Boston Celtics came back from a 26-point deficit at home and defeated the Miami Heat for the biggest comeback win of the season. A Celtics’ loss would have dropped Boston to sixth place in the East; and a first round match-up with the Heat. With the win, they climbed to fifth place to face the Atlanta Hawks.
The quality of the third to sixth place teams (which also includes the Charlotte Hornets) is practically the same but the Celtics’ comeback win means they’ll be bringing the momentum entering the playoffs.
3rd to 6th seeds in East, set on season finale
Speaking of the positioning battle in the East, the seeds were also just set on the final day of the regular season. Charlotte beat the Orlando Magic, 117-103 in their final game led by Al Jefferson’s 26 points. Like the Celtics, the win didn’t matter much as they failed to get a first round home court advantage but at least they’d be entering the postseason on a winning note.
The Hornets will battle the Heat in the first round of the playoffs.
Kobe’s 60 in final and Warriors’ 73 to beat Bulls
And of course, there’s Kobe Bryant’s masterful final act and Stephen Curry and the Warriors’ impressive finish to the already impressive regular season.
In Los Angeles, Kobe played like a vintage Black Mamba and turned in 60 points—including clutch baskets in the final moment of the game, and the final moments of his career.
In Golden State, the Warriors played like the usual dominant Golden State squad this season to win get to 73 victories for the year, breaking Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ previously thought to be unbeatable record of 72-10.
Thanks mainly to Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, the 2015-2016 NBA regular season finished on a high note. If the final day is any indication, NBA fans will be treated to a memorable postseason, which begins this Saturday.