OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors matched one record set by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls as they close in on the bigger mark.
Curry scored 33 points in his return from an ankle injury and the Warriors tied Chicago’s NBA mark by winning their 44th straight regular-season home game, 121-106 over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.
“That’s an amazing accomplishment,” Curry said. “It’s a compliment to us as a team, our coaching staff and obviously our fans who bring that atmosphere every night to give us the ultimate home-court advantage.”
Five days after tying the NBA record with 12 3-pointers in an overtime win at Oklahoma City, Curry went 5 of 15 from long range in the rematch. But he got more than enough assistance from his bench to help the Warriors (55-5) move 50 games above .500 in their quest to break the Bulls’ single-season mark for victories.
The Bulls won 44 consecutive home games from March 30, 1995, until April 4, 1996. That helped them set the record with 72 wins in 1995-96, a mark the Warriors remain on pace to surpass after beating the Thunder for the third time in as many tries this season.
“You can’t even dream that stuff up,” said Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who played on those Chicago teams. “It’s been that kind of season for us.”
Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Russell Westbrook had 22 and Serge Ibaka added 20 for the Thunder, who have lost six of eight since the All-Star break.
“We’ve definitely got to get it under control,” Durant said. “I’m not happy with the way we’re playing. Obviously we want to win, but this is where you see what you’re made of.”
Klay Thompson scored 21 for the Warriors, and Shaun Livingston provided 11 points, eight assists and tough defense on Durant off the bench.
Golden State trailed 80-71 midway through the third quarter before racing past a Thunder team playing the back half of a back-to-back. The Warriors cut the deficit to one after three quarters and then took over in the fourth.
With four starters on the bench to start the period, Golden State scored the first seven points with the help of a 3-pointer by Marreese Speights and strong play from Livingston to take a six-point lead.
“We’re confident coming off the bench,” Livingston said. “They have a good team. But we have a deeper team. We try to come in and all do our parts and do our jobs and hopefully overwhelm them over a 48-minute game.”
Spurs 94, Pelicans 86
In New Orleans, Kawhi Leonard capped 30-point, 11-rebound performance with a huge 3-pointer in the final minute, and San Antonio extended its winning streak to seven games with a victory over the Pelicans.
Anthony Davis had 17 points and 13 rebounds for New Orleans, which dropped its third straight.
Kings 104, Mavericks 101
In Dallas, Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 12 assists in his first game in Dallas since an ugly split with the Mavericks last season, and Sacramento ended a 22-game regular-season losing streak on his old home floor.
DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 13 rebounds as the Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with just their fifth win in the past 17 games.
Heat 108, Suns 92
In Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 27 points, Goran Dragic added 25 against his former team and the Heat never trailed on the way to beating Phoenix for their third straight victory.
Rookie guard Devin Booker kept the Suns in the game, scoring 15 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter.