The Warriors’ second win over the Thunder in six days was their 44th straight at Oracle Arena as they equalled the record set by the Chicago Bulls from March 1995 to April 1996.
If Golden State was looking like the betting favorite to break the Bulls all time record for wins in a season, what are they after Thursday night?
The Thunder entered the fourth quarter up 83-82, following a third quarter in which the Splash Bros combined to shoot 3-of-14.
As they’ve done in their most recent games, Russell Westbrook wore a PE colorway of the Air Jordan XXX and Kevin Durant dropped a near triple-double in the “BHM” Nike KD 8.
Green, Iguodala and Livingston were among those taking on the defensive assignment against Durant, who was 11 for 17 from the field, but the Warriors prevailed and moved within a game of making more history.
But the Warriors can count on a number of things that nearly every other team cannot, including steady contributions from the bench and the likelihood of winning any close home game in the final minutes (or earlier).
“Our second unit got us off to a fourth-quarter lead and they turned the momentum in our favour”, Curry said of the Warriors’ bench, which outscored the Thunder’s bench 32-25. Struggling as of late, the Thunder tried to come out with energy, controlling the pace and attacking the paint.
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 the Sacramento Kings ended a 22-game regular-season losing streak on his old home floor with a 104-101 victory Thursday night. His best? Plus-20 against the Thunder on February 6.
“Honestly”, Stephen Curry said, “if we are a 70-win team and champions versus a 73-win team and depleted energy and banged up going into the playoffs, we’re trying to avoid that”.
Knowing the Warriors, I’m sure they could somehow maneuver to open a max salary slot for July 2017, too. The past few games have been dismal for this Thunder team.
“His 3-point shot wasn’t as accurate as it normally is, but he hits the last two – the two most hard ones he took all night”, Kerr said. “We’re playing against really, really good teams“.
It’s now readily apparent that the Warriors can get those big wins even when they’re not at their best.
“Resting, that will take precedence”, Kerr said.
Thunder: The Thunder have lost 10 games when leading after three quarters, tied with Philadelphia for most in the league.
Westbrook finished with 22 points.
“When you’re in a rhythm like that, you want to do everything you can to carry the load”. So we search. Durant, left searching, this time against a better team, provided a thought process worth noting if only in the finality of it all.
The Warriors will visit Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers for one last time.