Basketball Records, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

The 29 Best Win/Loss Records in NBA History (And If Those Teams Won The NBA Title)

When it comes to comparing players from different NBA eras, we’ve found that it’s nearly impossible. Their impact within the context of the period in which that played can’t be accurately quantified.

On top of that, players build off the new moves, trends, and creativity of the generation before them. The game evolves. What is considered a great handle in the 1950’s with Bob Cousy pales to Earl Monroe’s dribbling skills in the 1970’s. That looked like child’s play to Isiah Thomas (1980’s). Tim Hardaway and Allen Iverson both idolized Isiah and innovate (1990’s) to Kyrie Irving and Steph Curry (2010’s). Trying to compare Cousy’s dribbling abilities to Kyrie Irving’s bag, well there’s no 1:1 comparison, but the fact of the matter is Kyrie wouldn’t have the handle that he has without those creative players that came before him.

With teams? It’s a little easier to make a call on it.

The Best NBA Teams Win The Most Games

Though there are way too many variables, numbers, statistics, and intangibles to consider when comparing individuals from different decades, comparing teams from different eras is a lot easier. That’s because the dominance and greatness of teams can be easily boiled down to their win/loss record, winning percentages, and whether they went on to win the NBA championship.

We can simply reference this data to gauge just how dominant that particular team was against the rest of the league in that particular season. With those data points in mind, these are the 29 teams that had the best regular season records in the NBA’s 75 year history.

Best Records in NBA History (By Winning Percentage)
# Team Record Win% Season NBA Champ?
1 Golden State Warriors 73-9 0.890 2016 No
2 Chicago Bulls 72-10 0.878 1996 Yes
3 Chicago Bulls 69-13 0.841 1997 Yes
3 Los Angeles Lakers 69-13 0.841 1972 Yes
5 Philadelphia 76ers 68-13 0.840 1967 Yes
6 Boston Celtics 68-14 0.829 1973 No
7 Golden State Warriors 67-15 0.817 2017 Yes
7 San Antonio Spurs 67-15 0.817 2016 No
7 Golden State Warriors 67-15 0.817 2015 Yes
7 Dallas Mavericks 67-15 0.817 2007 Lost First Round
7 Los Angeles Lakers 67-15 0.817 2000 Yes
7 Chicago Bulls 67-15 0.817 1992 Yes
7 Boston Celtics 67-15 0.817 1986 Yes
14 Washington Capitols 49-11 0.817 1947 No
15 Miami Heat 66-16 0.805 2013 Yes
15 Cleveland Cavaliers 66-16 0.805 2009 No
15 Boston Celtics 66-16 0.805 2008 Yes
15 Milwaukee Bucks 66-16 0.805 1971 Yes
19 Syracuse Nationals 51-13 0.797 1950 No
20 Houston Rockets 65-17 0.793 2018 No
20 Los Angeles Lakers 65-17 0.793 2009 Yes
20 Los Angeles Lakers 65-17 0.793 1987 Yes
20 Philadelphia 76ers 65-17 0.793 1983 Yes
24 Boston Celtics 59-16 0.787 1960 Yes
25 Seattle Supersonics 64-18 0.780 1996 No
25 Utah Jazz 64-18 0.780 1997 No
25 Detroit Pistons 64-18 0.780 2006 No
25 Phoenix Suns 64-18 0.780 2022 No

No surprise seeing Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, the league’s two most-storied franchises in the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, and the most-recent most-dominant team in the Golden State Warriors appearing multiple times in the top ten.

Of the 29 teams that have posted the best win/loss records in the history of the NBA, 16 of them went on to win the NBA championship. With legal online sports betting available now, if you were to wager money on the team with the best regular season winning percentage to come out victorious in the ultimate 7 game series, you would have a better than 55% chance of that happening. At least according to this data. The fact that this list has teams from the same season (more on that in a minute) skews the data.

Seasons With Multiple Teams On The List
Season Team W/L %
1996 Chicago Bulls 72-10 0.878
1996 Seattle Supersonics 64-18 0.780
1997 Chicago Bulls 69-13 0.841
1997 Utah Jazz 64-18 0.780
2009 Cleveland Cavaliers 66-16 0.805
2009 Los Angeles Lakers 65-17 0.793
2016 Golden State Warriors 73-9 0.890
2016 San Antonio Spurs 67-15 0.817

If we remove the 1996 Sonics, the 1997 Jazz, the 2009 Lakers, and the 2016 Spurs, that means 15 teams out of 25 teams with best win/loss records went on to win the NBA championship. That improves the odds. So when a franchise posts an elite regular-season record, it often ends up with them winning the NBA championship 60% of the time (15/25).

An interesting fact is that in the 2016 season the two teams with the best records in the league both make this list. The Golden State Warriors posted the best regular season record and winning percentage in the history of the NBA; winning 73 games and losing just nine games. The San Antonio Spurs had the league’s second-best record at 67-15, but the NBA champion that season was the team with the third best record, the Cleveland Cavaliers won *just* 57 games that season. The LeBron James-led roster would go on to win one of the most-unlikeliest NBA championships when the Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit to the Warriors in the NBA Finals

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.