Warriors set record for best start
OAKLAND, Calif. — Interim coach Luke Walton believes the time will come when the Golden State Warriors finally lose a game.
"I doubt it, I highly doubt it," joked NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
The defending champions set the record for best start in league history at 16-0, as Curry had 24 points and nine assists in a 111-77 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
With their coach sidelined, the Warriors surpassed the 15-0 starts by the Washington Capitols of 1948-49 and the 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
Confetti streamed down when the final buzzer sounded and Golden State's players barely celebrated.
"It's a special accomplishment any time you can do something that hasn't been done before," Curry said. "It's not going to be total dominance for 82 games."
Kobe Bryant shot 1 of 14 for just four points, matching the worst-shooting performance of his career in a game where he had at least one basket. The Lakers dropped to 2-12 with the second-worst record in the NBA.
"I could have scored 80 tonight, it wouldn't have made a damn difference," Bryant said.
Draymond Green added 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists as the Warriors extended their franchise-record home winning streak to 27 games with coach Steve Kerr watching from behind the scenes while recovering from complications following two back surgeries.
Walton is leading the way, and it might have been a little sweeter to set the record against the Lakers franchise he helped win two titles.
"Anything's possible," Walton said. "Eventually we will lose. It's natural to let down at some point."
Golden State became the sixth team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive regular-season games, a streak dating to last season. The Suns have the next shot at stopping this incredible start when the Warriors visit Phoenix on Friday night.
Now, the Warriors can aim for two more NBA records: 33 straight or 72 total wins.
Curry only had to play 30 minutes, taking a seat for good with 6.5 seconds remaining in the third to huge cheers from a sellout crowd of 19,596 that was really closer to 20,000 with all the standing-room only tickets sold.
Bryant went 1 for 7 from 3-point range in 25 minutes as Los Angeles lost its fourth in a row and eighth in nine. He also finished 1 for 14 last season against San Antonio, according to STATS.
Klay Thompson had 11 points but missed his first seven shots and, as has been the case in a handful of these wins, the Warriors took a few minutes to get rolling — and then they were off and running.
"We're a young team, very hungry and we've got great veterans that won't let us be complacent," Thompson said. "Hopefully it sends a message throughout the league that we're here to stay for a while."
Golden State missed five of its first six shots before Curry's 3-pointer from the left wing at 8:28. The Warriors knocked down five of their first 12 from long range to build a 27-9 lead with 1:41 left in the opening period.
CLIPPERS 111, NUGGETS 94: At Denver, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan each scored 18 points and Los Angeles beat Denver to snap a three-game losing streak. Jordan finished with 11 rebounds and four blocks, while Griffin had 10 rebounds. Chris Paul had 15 points and 10 assists to give the Clippers (7-7) three players with double-doubles. Danilo Gallinari led Denver with 20 points and had a career-high 18 rebounds.
PACERS 123, WIZARDS 106: At Washington, Paul George scored a season-high 40 points and made seven 3-pointers, part of a franchise-record 19 by Indiana. C.J. Miles added 32 points, his most since joining the Pacers before the start of last season, as Indiana won for the ninth time in 11 games. Miles was 8 of 9 from beyond the arc, and George also missed only once from deep.
GRIZZLIES 110, MAVERICKS 96: At Memphis, Tenn., Mike Conley scored 21 points, Jeff Green added 19 and seven Memphis players reached double figures in a victory over Dallas. Marc Gasol had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which won its fifth in the last six games. Matt Barnes and Mario Chalmers added 14 points apiece, and JaMychal Green contributed 13.
HAWKS 121, CELTICS 97: At Atlanta, Paul Millsap scored 25 points, Jeff Teague added 16 and Atlanta beat Boston. Atlanta had dropped four of five and was coming off a loss Saturday at Cleveland in which coach Mike Budenholzer was ejected and subsequently fined $25,000 for bumping into referee Ben Taylor. The Hawks put it out of reach with an 18-3 run that made it 100-80 with 6:20 left.