NBA: Warriors clinch victory in last minute, Cavaliers fall to Bulls

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (left) going up for a dunk against Memphis Grizzlies guard P.J. Hairston, on April 9, 2016.
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (left) going up for a dunk against Memphis Grizzlies guard P.J. Hairston, on April 9, 2016.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

(REUTERS) - The Golden State Warriors' quest for NBA history remains alive... barely.

Golden State, seeking to become the first team in league history to win 73 games during the regular season, was nearly denied the opportunity by the slumping injury-depleted Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis, who had lost 11 of their past 14, led most of the final quarter before falling to the Warriors 100-99 on Saturday.

Golden State is 71-9 with games remaining at San Antonio on Sunday and at home against the Grizzlies on Wednesday.

The Warriors are attempting to surpass the 1995-96 Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, who finished 72-10.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggled from long range going a combined 5-for-24, but Draymond Green rescued Golden State with 23 points, including the game-winning tip-in with a minute to go. He also had 11 rebounds.

Thompson added 20 points and Curry finished with 17, although he went three of 14 from beyond the arc.

Matt Barnes led Memphis with 24 points and 15 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler scored 21 points and Cristiano Felicio had 16 off the bench as Chicago staved off play-off elimination with a 105-102 victory over Cleveland.

Nikola Mirotic scored 13 points and Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose each finished with 10 for the Bulls (40-40), who would have been eliminated from play-off contention with a loss.

Chicago need to win their remaining two games and have Indiana lose all three of their remaining games to clinch a post-season berth.

LeBron James scored 33 points and J.R. Smith finished with 24 for the Cavaliers (57-23), who entered the night in need of a victory to clinch the best record in the Eastern Conference for the third time in franchise history.