OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – With a Super Bowl-sized stage, a celebrity-filled crowd and two championship contenders on the floor, it felt more like late May in Oracle Arena than early February.
Stephen Curry was up to the task.
Curry scored 26 points and keyed a strong closing stretch that sent the Golden State Warriors to their 41st straight regular-season home win, 116-108 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.
“This was very playoff-like for sure,” Curry said. “The atmosphere, just the intensity, the adrenaline down the stretch. That’s what you expect for sure. It was good to get that feeling and execute.”
Curry scored three baskets and assisted on two more during a closing 12-4 run that gave the Warriors (46-4) their ninth straight win to match the 1966-67 Philadelphia 76ers for the best record ever after 50 games. Golden State moved within three wins of tying the Chicago Bulls (1995-96) for the longest home winning streak in NBA history.
Harrison Barnes added 19 points and Klay Thompson scored 18 for Golden State.
Kevin Durant had 40 points and 14 rebounds and Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 12 assists for the Thunder, who had won five straight and 12 of 13 but still trail Golden State and San Antonio in the Western Conference.
“Man we’re not scared of either one of these teams,” Durant said. “We’re going to play our game. Nobody in this locker room is scared. We have to play them. If we want to get to where we want to get to, we have to play them. We’re not ducking anybody.”
The defending-champion Warriors have beaten the three teams directly behind them in the standings during this current streak. After blowing out San Antonio and Cleveland by a combined 64 points, Golden State was tested against Oklahoma City.
Trail Blazers 96, Rockets 79
In Houston, Damian Lillard had 21 points and 10 assists to lead a balanced scoring attack as Portland built a big lead early and rolled to an easy win.
Pacers 112, Pistons 104
In Indianapolis, Paul George scored 30 points to help the Pacers hold on for a win.
Hornets 108, Wizards 104
In Charlotte, Nicolas Batum had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and the Hornets rallied in the second half to beat Washington.
Cavaliers 99, Pelicans 94
In Cleveland, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, LeBron James added 27 and the Cavaliers bounced back from two straight losses.
76ers 103, Nets 98
In Philadelphia, Jahlil Okafor had 22 points and 17 rebounds and Nerlens Noel added 18 points.
Timberwolves 112, Bulls 105
In Minneapolis, Andrew Wiggins scored six of his 21 points in the final 90 seconds.
Spurs 106, Lakers 102
In San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points and the Spurs beat the Lakers.
Jazz 98, Suns 89
In Phoenix, Rodney Hood scored 25 points, Gordon Hayward added 22 and Utah stretched its longest winning streak of the season to six.
Mavs 114, Grizzlies 110 (OT)
In Memphis, Chandler Parsons scored 26 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in overtime.