Warriors inch toward history
21 November 2015, 10:43
Los Angeles -The Golden State Warriors stretched their perfect record to 14-0 on Friday with a hard-fought 106-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls in Oakland that left them one win away from matching the best start to an NBA season.
Led by Stephen Curry's 27 points, the Warriors matched the best start by a reigning NBA champion -- the 14-0 start of the 1957-58 Boston Celtics.
With a win at Denver on Sunday they can match the best ever start to a season of 15-0, achieved by Washington in 1948-49 and the Houston Rockets in 1993-94.
A win there would see them try to break the record when they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
"I think this would be a cool accomplishment," Curry said of extending the streak, but it's looking harder to maintain.
After rallying from a 23-point first-half deficit to beat the Clippers in Los Angeles on Thursday, the Warriors were in a quick hole against the Bulls, who took a 23-12 lead after just seven minutes.
In a game that featured 18 lead changes and 17 ties, the Warriors took a slim 77-73 lead into the fourth quarter.
But the Bulls wouldn't go away.
Curry's three-pointer with 5:26 to play broke another tie and Harrison Barnes drained back-to-back three-pointers in the final 1:15 as the Warriors finally pulled away.
They notched their 26th straight regular-season home win -- a run stretching back to a loss to the Bulls last January 27.
"We wanted to protect our home court," Curry said. "That's the feeling that kind of overpowered the streak.
"We want to close games at home strong. We did that tonight."
Barnes scored 20 points, making three of his six three-point attempts and pulling down nine rebounds.
Shooting guard Klay Thompson added 15 points for the Warriors.
Guard Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 28 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Nikola Mirotic added 18 points and 10 rebounds and center Pau Gasol added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago, who were held to 39.8 percent shooting.
Kirk Hinrich, standing in for injured star Derrick Rose, added 17 points for the Bulls, who limited Curry to two points in the second quarter and just 10 in the first half but couldn't hang on at the end.
In New Orleans, forward Ryan Anderson scored a game-high 30 points and forward Anthony Davis added 20 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Pelicans to a 104-90 upset of the San Antonio Spurs.
The injury-ravaged Pelicans posted just their second victory in 13 games this season as they snapped the Spurs' six-game winning streak.
Reserve guard Ish Smith came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points, handing out 13 assists with just two turnovers for new Orleans.
The Pelicans led 78-74 after three quarters and just 83-82 when San Antonio's French point guard Tony Parker hit a jumper with 10:10 to play.
But Davis produced seven points in a 17-6 Pelicans scoring run as the hosts took a 100-88 lead.
"It's our first kind of complete game this season," said New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry. "We made good decisions. We played at a pace we needed to play at. I told the guys this is something we've got to build on."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he thought his team "were awful".
In one telling stat, veteran San Antonio forward Tim Duncan failed to have a rebound for the first time in his NBA career -- ending an 18-year streak.
The Memphis Grizzlies won their fourth straight, downing the Houston Rockets 96-84 on the back of Spanish center Marc Gasol's triple-double.
Gasol notched 16 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter.
Gasol's triple-double was just the fourth in Grizzlies history. The last player to do it?
"I'm sure it was Pau," said Gasol, and he was right -- it was his older brother Pau Gasol on January 24, 2007.