Warriors clinch playoff spot with more than six weeks to spare

Golden State Warriors guards Shaun Livingston, left, Stephen Curry (30), and Andre Iguodala (9) celebrate (Brandon Dill)/AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have clinched a playoff spot with more than six weeks to spare.

The defending NBA champions became the first team since the 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers to wrap up a post-season berth by the end of February when the Houston Rockets lost Saturday night to the San Antonio Spurs. That assured the Warriors will finish among the top eight teams in the Western Conference.

About an hour later, Golden State improved to 53-5 — the best start in league history — when Curry hit a 3-pointer from well beyond 30 feet with 0.6 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Warriors a thrilling 121-118 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Curry had 46 points and his winning shot was his 12th 3-pointer, tying the NBA single-game record. The reigning MVP also broke his own record for 3s in a season, leaving the new mark at 288.