Warriors tie record, end Spurs' home streak
SAN ANTONIO — The Golden State Warriors got a momentous victory in the one place they hadn't won in nearly two decades.
Now, they're one victory away from topping Michael Jordan and the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
Stephen Curry had 37 points and the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 92-86 on Sunday night for their 72nd victory, tying Jordan's Bulls for the season record.
"We can get to 73," forward Draymond Green said. "That's the significance for me of 72."
The defending champions will finish the regular season at home against Memphis on Wednesday night.
"Obviously, we're in the moment, enjoying the ride," Curry said. "The goal is to win a championship. That's the goal. But we put ourselves in a great position to end the season with a win and do something no team has done in the history. That's an amazing accomplishment."
The Warriors got No. 72 by doing what nobody else had this season — beating the Spurs in San Antonio.
The Spurs had won 48 consecutive regular-season games at home, including an NBA-record 39 straight to this season. Golden State also ended a 33-game skid in San Antonio that dated to 1997.
"Definitely sweet because we broke the streak," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. "That's all the media would talk about for the last few years. It's tough to win here. It definitely was huge for us."
San Antonio sat Tim Duncan for rest and was without an injured Boris Diaw. It had not lost at home since March 2015. The Spurs also fell to Golden State on Thursday night in Oakland, 112-101.
The Warriors dominated the fourth quarter in taking the season series 3-1. Curry controlled the action with a series of layups when San Antonio's defense attempted to run him off the 3-point line.
"They just exploded," Spurs forward David West said. "Steph just took over the game. We weren't able to get to him, keep bodies in front of him."
Curry had 20 points in the second half.
In their lone victory over Golden State this season, San Antonio managed to slow down the game. The Spurs tried to match the Warriors' pace Sunday, though, leading to a tense and at times sloppy game.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points to lead the Spurs, who have lost three straight for the first time this season. Kawhi Leonard added 20 points but shot 7 for 22 while continually being harried by Green.
Green got a technical for charging directly toward Monty McCutcheon at the scorer's table after the official ruled he fouled Leonard in the first half. With Andrew Bogut screaming from the Warriors' bench for teammates to grab Green, the energetic forward followed McCutcheon across the court to continue his argument. A second technical was not issued.
Green finished with 11 points, and Thompson added 14 for Golden State.
Warriors: Golden State's previous victory in San Antonio was Feb. 14, 1997. Latrell Sprewell had 32 points in leading the Warriors to a 108-94 victory. The Spurs were without injured David Robinson and were months away from drafting Duncan. ... Curry made a 3-pointer in his 151st straight regular-season game, extending his own NBA record. Curry was 4 for 9 on 3-pointers and also banked in a shot from the opposite 3-point line to close the third quarter, but the attempt came after the buzzer.
Spurs: Duncan has missed 20 games this season, including 10 for rest. San Antonio is 16-4 without Duncan, who turns 40 on April 25. ... Duncan averaged 2.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 13.5 minutes in two games against Golden State this season. He missed the team's initial meeting with a sore right knee. ... San Antonio trailed for only 11:13 in 468 minutes played in the fourth quarter entering Sunday's game.
Even though San Antonio dropped three of four to Golden State this season, there isn't much concern from the Spurs.
"It's a whole new ballgame in the playoffs," West said. "Hopefully, it will be another two months, month and a half before we see them again. Our job is just to keep improving and prepare ourselves now for a tough first-round matchup against whoever."
AS VITAS WOULD SAY
Kerr claimed he forgot the Warriors had lost 33 straight in San Antonio until a reporter reminded him during his postgame interview. Either way, he had a funny remark ready.
"With apologies to (Vitas Gerulaitis), I'll use his line," Kerr said, paraphrasing the late tennis great. "Nobody, and I mean nobody, beats the Golden State Warriors 34 straight times. Nobody, you got that?"
Gerulaitis famously uttered a similar quote after snapping a 16-match skid to Jimmy Connors in 1980.
Warriors: Host Memphis on Wednesday night.
Spurs: At Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.
PACERS 129, NETS 105: At Indianapolis, Myles Turner had 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Indiana Pacers beat the Brooklyn Nets to clinch a playoff berth.
Solomon Hill had 13 points and 12 rebounds, George Hill had 18 points, Ian Mahinmi 16, and Paul George 15. The Pacers jumped ahead 17-5 in the first quarter and led by as many as 42 points.
The Pacers have two games left and can still finish as high as seventh in the Eastern Conference if they finish with the same record as Detroit.
CLIPPERS 98, MAVERICKS 91: At Los Angeles, Jamal Crawford scored 22 points and Los Angeles beat Dallas, snapping the Mavericks' six-game winning streak and preventing them from clinching a playoff berth.
J.J. Redick added 20 points and Blake Griffin had 17 points and 11 rebounds in his best game since returning a week ago from a three-month absence to help the playoff-bound Clippers win their fifth in a row.
Raymond Felton led Dallas with 21 points, Deron Williams added 15, and Dirk Nowitzki 14.
JAZZ 100, NUGGETS 84: At Denver, Trey Lyles scored a career-high 22 points in an unexpected start, Gordon Hayward helped fuel a 24-0 third-quarter run and Utah beat Denver to maintain its one-game lead over Houston for the last Western Conference playoff spot.
Lyles got the start when Derrick Favors was a late scratch because of right knee soreness. Hayward scored 10 of his 22 points in a pivotal third quarter that saw Utah turn the game into a rout.
Nikola Jokic and Emmanuel Mudiay each had 19 points for Nuggets.
ROCKETS 130, LAKERS 110: At Houston, James Harden scored 20 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter, and Houston kept its playoff hopes alive with a victory over Los Angeles.
Harden also had 13 assists. Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverley each 19 points for the Rockets.
Kobe Bryant, who has just two games left before his retirement, had 35 points for Los Angeles. Jordan Clarkson had 21 points and eight rebounds.
WIZARDS 113, HORNETS 98: At Washington, Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Washington beat Charlotte, damaging the Hornets' chances to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Frank Kaminsky had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets.
HEAT 118, MAGIC 96: At Miami, Luol Deng scored 20 points, Hassan Whiteside added 18 points and 15 rebounds in his first start since Jan. 20, and Miami beat Orlando.
Evan Fournier scored 21 points for the Magic, with Nik Vucevic adding 19 points.
BUCKS 109, 76ERS 108, OT: At Philadelphia, Khris Middleton scored 36 points and John Henson had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Milwaukee past Philadelphia.
Jabari Parker added 15 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 14 for the Bucks. Ish Smith led the 76ers with 22 points and Nerlens Noel had 18 points and 13 rebounds.
RAPTORS 93, KNICKS 89: At New York, DeMar DeRozan converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:05 left on a night he became Toronto's No. 2 career scorer, and the Raptors beat the New York Knicks to stay alive for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.