When the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers went 69-13 (a .841 winning percentage), it appeared to be one of the several NBA records that might be insurmountable, and for a while it was.
But 24 years later, on April 21, 1996, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls surpassed it, beating the Washington Bullets to claim their 72nd victory of the season to finish 72-10 (a .878 winning percentage).
Jordan was stellar in the victory, as one would expect from not only arguably the greatest player of all time, but also one of the most competitive. Jordan dropped 26 points on the Bullets, going 11-22 from the field in the win.
He also stuffed the rest of the stat sheet in the 109-93 victory, grabbing four rebounds, four assists and four steals to help his team break the Lakers’ record and make NBA history.
Jordan’s sidekick, Scottie Pippen, was also excellent in the win for Chicago, scoring 20 points on 7-12 shooting and supplementing his scoring with five assists, four rebounds and one steal and block apiece.
Bullets big man Juwan Howard did his best to make things difficult on the Bulls, scoring 27 points and grabbing seven boards in an effort to make Washington more than a speedbump on Chicago’s journey to historical status, but it wasn’t enough to counteract the greatness of that nearly flawless Bulls roster.
The Bulls would go on to win the 1996 NBA championship, their first of Jordan’s second threepeat with the team.
The Bulls record was also widely considered unbreakable, at least until the Golden State Warriors went 73-9 during the 2015-16 season to prove all records were made to be broken.